Monday, June 6, 2011

Happy Yo-Yo Day!

And a happy “walk the dog” day to ya!

June 6th is National YoYo Day in honor of Donald F. Duncan Sr.’s birthday.  Whoever that is…
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I presented Esmé with a celebratory yo-yo and asked her in search of an educational moment, “Where do you think yo-yos came from?”

“The store…” she exclaimed with obviousness.

“Uh, that’s not exactly what I meant.  Maybe they came from China?” I explained, grasping at origins.

“I believe you’re doing the same thing your daughter did,” Pappa said to me.

Sure enough, the yo-yo had a “Made in China” emblem on it.

imageChecking out the history, I discovered that the yo-yo DOES seem to originate in the Orient, though no one can pinpoint exactly where.  It’s been around, like, forever?  Used as a weapon of all things in the Philippines, it made its way to Europe around 1800.

Which brings us to Donald Duncan, who was behind the mass production and marketing of yo-yos as toys in the US in the 1930s, in large part with the help of a Filipino named Pedro Flores.  Happy birthday, Donald!

(Another Great Depression cure?  Donuts, Rocky Road, and Yo-Yos – shows that great things come from tough times?)

By the way, if you’ve got elementary-aged kids, there is a cool unit study, including hands-on science study, available at


JDaniel4's Mom said...

What fun facts! The yo-yo play looks like fun too.