Using your Yoyo

Wairakei Primary School were very lucky to be involved in a Ned’s Mindset Mission assembly via zoom. 

Ned’s Mindset shares that while yo-yoing is cool and simple, it’s not always easy. Everyone who learns to yo-yo will make mistakes along the way. Students are told that if they try yo-yoing, it’s important to learn from mistakes and never give up. Teachers and parents often see children practice persistence and find great fulfillment in doing their personal best as they learn to yo with NED. Best of all, this “NED mindset” is infinitely transferable to school subjects! - Ned’s Mindset


John, the yoyo master, showed both students and teachers some yoyo tricks while telling us a story about always giving things a go and growing our brain.  He talked about how we all can achieve our potential, embrace challenges, persist in the face of setbacks, and see mistakes and failures as a necessary step to grow and master useful skills. 

Developing resilience and persistence skills in a fun and motivational way gives students strategies they can use when they face challenges in other curriculum areas or aspects of their everyday lives. 

These ideas align with our school’s Power 4 Learning journey where students are encouraged and taught to show Power for Self - trying their best and giving everything a go to improve their learning. 


Using yoyo’s is a great way to practise this growth mindset. Using a yoyo can be tricky at first, but if you persevere and learn from your mistakes you can learn how to do some pretty amazing tricks with the yoyo. Some of these tricks include walking the dog, gravity gripper and rock the baby.

Using a yoyo also has a positive effect on the fine motor skills of those that use them. Students who regularly complete activities which require fine motor skills, such as yoyo's, are found to have stronger motor control and balance, helping to improve their literacy achievement in the long term (Ali, et al. 2017).

Classes are also using the yoyo's to observe physics in action. The forces created as the yoyo's spin up and down have started some interesting scientific discussions.

You can learn to do some cool tricks with them. It helps me to learn about physics too because we can watch them spin - Mithesh



The power of yet is a key phrase to use in a growth mindset. Rather than saying “I can’t do it” say “I can’t do it yet”. This three letter word helps students to see that they will be able to do it if they keep trying.

I can’t do any tricks yet - but I will keep trying - Toby

The school has bought a set of  yoyos to have in school so that our students can master the tricks and practise a growth mindset. The students have enjoyed using these in the playground and in the classroom. With increased perseverance and the use of the word ‘yet’ when learning new tricks, our students will become more resilient in their learning, improve their fine motor skills and as a result, their achievement in literacy and mathematics may improve. 



Ask your child if they can walk the dog with a yoyo!

More about Ned’s Mindset and the possibilities of the yoyo's here.


Keywords: Growth Mindset, The Power of Yet

Ali, Ajmol & Pigou, Deborah & Clarke, Linda & Mclachlan, Claire. (2017). Literature Review on Motor Skill and Physical Activity in Preschool Children in New Zealand. Advances in Physical Education. 7. 10-26. 10.4236/ape.2017.71002. 

2020 foley yoyo 04