Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review + Giveaway: Kiwido and Mikido: Science As Sport

This toy says, "I have the coolest mom/dad in the world" unless you are holding it and then it says, "I am the coolest mom/dad in the world."  Pictured is the Kiwido (that comes with a CD-ROM)
WHAT:  Kiwido (with CD-ROM) and Mikido by Active People
DOES: practice your balance, bilateral coordination, and strengthen your upper body! This thing makes you move! Motivation supplied by scientific curiosity... Also, it's an icebreaker in the park!
INVEST:  $26.99 Kiwido with CD-Rom (blue package), $24.99 Kiwido Classic with carrying case, and $11.99 MSRP for Mikido
AGES: 5+ for Kiwido; 3-8 for Mikido
TOOLS: Think Like a Scientist/Engineer, My Body Needs to Move, Social Scene Helper, Express Yourself
GIVEAWAY:  Win your own set of Kiwido (with CD-ROM) mailed to your home!

I am usually not moved by celebrity campaigns but maybe because I am a mom now, I don't know... I think I've changed.  Thus, after I saw Michelle Obama dance with Jimmy Fallon on his show, I promised myself to get me and my kids more active

Okay, so I bunched up the string to make it easier but I feel like a superstar!

I didn't have to look far to be active since there is a company called ACTIVE PEOPLE, based in Switzerland that make seriously awesome active toys.  Two of them are Kiwido and Mikido, which basically is a junior version of Kiwido.

Kiwido is a form of poi, a performance art that originates with the Maori, the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand.  You probably have seen poi dancing somewhere.  Most likely you may recall seeing women do a fire poi dance on old episodes of Fantasy Island (yes, I am that old.)

But how much exercise can you get from swinging balls on a string?  Well, you are just going to have to believe me when I say A LOT.   But take a look below and think how much I need to hold my gut together.  If you can imagine that, then you can imagine what your children would have to do to play and do all the stunts they want to do.

Tough Guy Approved

Number 1 received his Kiwido from the Tooth Fairy. I try to let my kid earn his toys but I couldn't wait to give this to him. I knew he'd love it.  My son had seen an LED poi dance at his school and so even though our Kiwido doesn't light up, he loves the whole act of spinning so much that he hit the roof when he saw what the Tooth Fairy had left him.  He was so happy that he wrote the Tooth Fairy a thank you letter - unprompted- unbelievable.

But that is the end of the lovely fairy story because after he opened the box, he became a Kiwido madman. He instantly thought of nunchucks and swords...

  Don't worry, he won't turn into a monster.  He is just channeling his Ninjago.

If you watched lots of Bruce Lee movies as a kid, then you know how cool he looked whenever he was using nunchucks. Kiwido really reminds me of the days when my brother practiced playing with his nunchucks and occasionally whacked me with them. (Can't believe my parents let him have this!) But seriously, there is so much coordination involved. If you are not coordinated, you can smack yourself with these.

Truth be told, we have smacked ourselves with the weighted "ball" at the end of the rope. But the whacks become whacks of honor. My son and I just ended up laughing and feeling silly whenever we hit ourselves. It's crazy but it just makes us work harder.

Here is an exercise he made up where he passes it from one hand to another while it is still in motion. I think he is pretending that he is holding a sword.

Social Sport for Not-So-Social Athletes?

My son was never great at team sports and so I mistakenly thought he was not athletic but he really really is.  I still recall all those soccer class disasters. Once Number 1 was fooling around and unintentionally hit a girl. (I think he was spinning something like a poi!).  Her father looked at both of us with eyes of death. That was our last day of soccer class.

But the truth is, you CAN be athletic even if you're not on a "team team," rather you can be on a team like the way Michael Phelps or Jackie Joyner-Kersee was on a team.  Such teams are real teams but, when it comes time for performance, you are alone, and that really suits certain types. I think it is easier to focus and also to be social this way.

Curious Kid: Uh, can I try?  Your Kid: Okay, but you better be careful!  Pictured is the Kiwido Classic

Kids will find it hard not to stare at your kid playing with Kiwido or Mikido. Just instruct your child to share if someone asks for a turn or better yet? Buy two.  I really wish toys like this came in sets for two people. This toy is very social.  Look at these colors! The whole picture says "YOU CAN TALK TO ME. I AM A FUN PERSON."

The Sport for Scientists?

While Number 1 might someday join a basketball team or even (heavens no......) a soccer team, I don't think he'll ever lose interest in toys like Kiwido and Mikido.  There are certain kids who truly love the motion of spinning and whirling (like Indiana Jones).  There is a nascent scientific spark that I am sensing in these kids.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Kiwido and Mikido are two toys that use centripetal force to wow their fans.  Apparently, the source of centripetal force can be different depending on the situation.
  • Planets orbiting the sun? Centripetal Force = Gravity.
  • Car turning a corner? Centripetal Force = Friction
  • Whirling an object at the end of a string? Centripetal Force = Tension of the String
I really hope that whenever my kid is whirling an object at the end of a string, he is really just investigating the laws of physics.  Maybe he is but it is still not safe-looking nor socially-appropriate. And don't forget that you are the WORST parent in the world if you don't make your kid stop right then and there.  Who has not been in these shoes?  I don't know about you but I'm still wearing those shoes!

Think Mikido are for babies? Look at this kid's face.

So I gave my kids a Kiwido and Mikido because when my kids are whirling things on strings, I won't look like the worst parent in the world.  Besides, playing with Kiwido and Mikido is excellent for bilateral coordination and strengthening the upper part of their bodies (and mine)!  More importantly, I will be hoping my kid thinks that I am not a total screw-up because I chose to let him get his whirling thrills this way.  There is only so many "DON'Ts" a parent can say.  Kiwido is certainly a "DO" and for us it's definitely a "MUST."

Mikido are definitely smaller but...

they are still very cool..

If you lose your instructional CD or if you buy the Kiwido Classic or Mikido which does not have an instructional CD then you can still view the Active People website and find all the cool moves there.

Kiwido Classic comes in a pouch but folding it to go back into the pouch is just crazy for me. I keep ours in a pencil box. The Classic also does not have the cute rubber ball like you see below.  One of the places that sells them is here.
All of the Kiwido and Mikido flying fabric parts are made of rip-stop nylon but the Kiwido with CD (blue box) are sewn on the edges which will prevent tattering.  I still like the colors on the Kiwido Classic better though..

These are so cute. I have seen other pictures of Mikido and those seem to have more ribbons but ours look just like these.  A four year old that I know had a glorious time with these.

And now here's your chance to win your very own Kiwido with CD!    Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Want to buy on Amazon right now? Use my link to support Toys are Tools.

For more on the Let's Move campaign, click HERE
Downloadable Action Plan for Kids on Let's Move 

Other toys that are social but solo and sporty...   AirGlider, Zing Toys Bows, YoBaby Kick Flipper

Disclosure:  Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review.  The items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review.  Reviews are never promised.  The giveaway prize is being donated by the manufacturer.


  1. I have to add that I have LONG wanted to get Dylan a set of poi. We saw someone using them at a festival and Dylan was fascinated! The guy (college age kid) let him play with them for at least an hour. I would love to win these!

  2. Did your son make these Ninja warrior faces when he played? Maybe it is just my son.... good luck!!!