Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Yo-Yo Basics


Yo-Yo Tips
For the first wind, the yo-yo string goes over your forefinger.
For the first wind, the yo-yo string goes over your forefinger.

Here are some important yo-yo tricks and tips to always keep in mind while you play:

Winding up the Yo-Yo

To wind up a sleeping yo-yo, grab one of the yo-yo disks with the fingers of your free hand. Place your thumb or forefinger over the groove that separates the two halves of the yo-yo and wind the string once over your finger. Lift your finger and wind the string inside the finger for the second and third times around.

For the fourth and subsequent winds, pull your finger out of the loop and wind the loop into the yo-yo. Wind the string lightly until the last couple of loops, which should be wound slightly tighter.

Finally, throw your yo-yo down and bring it back up once to clear your string. Now your yo-yo is ready for play.

Challenge Levels

As you become more familiar with your yo-yo, you'll encounter tricks in varying degrees of difficulty: easy, intermediate, or advanced. Oftentimes, yo-yo trick instructions are written for the right-handed yo-yoer. Don't worry, though. If you are a left-handed, simply reverse the directions when necessary.

Yo-Yo Safety

Some yo-yo tricks, such as Around the World, are potentially dangerous tricks to you, to others, and to your surroundings. When playing with your yo-yo, be sure you have a high ceiling so the yo-yo won't hit it. Also make sure that nothing is in the path of your yo-yo.

Observe the "Circle of Danger" concept. Mentally check out the area around you to make sure there is not a person or an object nearby (within about six feet) that can be potentially hit as you perform your tricks.

The most important tip of all is enjoy your yo-yo and play with it safely! Working with a yo-yo can be a dangerous activity and can result in serious injury. Do not practice yo-yo tricks in a crowded area or near windows.

Do not let children under 7 play with yo-yos, and all children should be supervised by adults, as the string could cause choking or other injury.

For more fun yo-yo tricks and kids activities, check out: