Swing pois are traditional Maori weights used to increase flexibility, strength and coordination. The name translates to mean ‘ball on a cord' and that's exactly what they are. You can easily purchase a pair of swing pois on the Internet, but it's simple to make your own as well. Follow these instructions and you'll have your very own set of swing pois to practice, play and entertain with.
Gather everything you need. To make swing pois, you'll need to gather the following things:
- ½ meter of fabric (two old socks will do in a pinch)
- Some yarn or string
- 2 shoelaces
- Two plastic sandwich bags
- Several cups of rice or clean sand
Prepare the fabric. Cut your fabric into two squares that measure 12" across. If you're using socks, cut off the leg of the sock, leaving just the heel-to-toe section as a pouch.
Cut and fill the sandwich bags. Each sandwich bag needs to be able to close snugly, so all zippers or snap tops need to be cut off. Leave only the bag portion. Once the baggies have been trimmed at the top, fill them equally with rice or sand. You will want to weigh or measure the rice or sand to ensure that each baggie weighs the same amount. Use a regular kitchen scale to be sure. When the bags are filled, tie them closed with yarn or string. If there is a lot of excess bag above where you tied it, you can trim a bit off. Just make sure the tie won't come loose. A little duct tape will ensure this doesn't happen!
Cover the baggies in fabric. Once the bags are prepared, you can cover them in fabric. Put the bag in the middle of your fabric square and pull all the corners together. Tie the fabric closed securely with one end of the shoe lace. If you are using a sock, put the baggie into the sock and close it off with the shoelace.
Put a loop in the end of your shoelaces. To make handles for your swing pois, simply tie a loop in the end of each shoelace that is big enough for you to hold. The strings should be the same length when you are finished your swing pois. Give them a couple test swings to make sure they feel right, and make any necessary adjustments to your swing pois.