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Cup and Ball reason for purchase: My grandfather grew up in the beginning of the last century. His parents worked hard but when he was a young boy his father died. My grandfather told me that he never had any toys when he was a child. Perhaps this is why I like to make sure there are toys, games and books in the house for any visiting children to enjoy. Above all I wanted to try and make up for my grandfather never having a toy of his own. The first toy I bought my grandfather was a cup and ball. I wanted my grandfather to have a toy that would have been played within his childhood. I keep this toy here too. Description: This is a wooden toy just like the children would have had in Victorian and Edwardian times and it was very popular. The ball is on a string which is connected to the cup. This is handy because parts can't be lost. The string can be adjusted to change the level of difficulty, by wrapping it around the long handle, which has the cup at the end of it. This is recommended for age five and up. However, I should think this is a suitable for children from the age of three and up under supervision and parental discretion. Game play: It's a simple rule - catch the ball in the cup! But it is not so easy to capture the ball so you must persevere. Shorten the string to make it easier to catch the ball and then it's less likely to bounce back out. Challenge an opponent to beat the number of times the ball can be caught in the cup within a set time limit. This is good for hand and eye coordination and is fun until patience is lost. Practice improves performance. This is a good bit of family fun and it's nice to reminisce about our social history and keep a tradition alive. Reception: My grandfather looked puzzled by receiving his first toy in about ninety years. Once I'd explained the reason for the gift his eyes lit up. He played with it for a few rounds and was much more accomplished then I. I find children lose interest sooner than adults. However, for less than two pounds it can bring a few laughs. Even though it was a popular toy amongst children of the past it turns out there were some even poorer families who couldn't afford it at all. This is a lovely bright and cheerful toy. The one for sale on Amazon is yellow with two green stripes on the handle. The cup, shaped to fit the ball, is painted red and the ball is a matching bright red. Aesthetically the wooden toy is very a very appealing sight and beats the appearance of plastic toys and games. The sound of the ball popping into the cup is much nicer than the beeps and blasts of modern technology. My grandfather's story leaves me appreciating this classic toy. Let's encourage children to return to the good old fashioned classic toys and games of the past and save ourselves a fortune!
I bought this for my son a few years ago from the local museum, no I don't know why they were selling them either? He kept on and on about wanting one, so the fact they were only £2, I gave in and bought him one. By the time we had walked home (10 mins) the toy was in a bag, forgotten about and has pretty much stayed that way since. We still own the toy, in fact my son has a Bob the Builder pop up toy box and I know it is lurking in the bottom of it somewhere. It is only ever seen when it comes to sorting out Bob in an effort to remove some of the broken toys and make some room. It is played with for 5 minutes until you remember how infuriating it is and throw it back into Bob in a childish strop because you still can't do it. That last bit might just be me though! It is basically a wooden handle with a cup in one end, a length of string with a ball on the other; you then have to catch the ball in the cup. A game from many years back, before 'having a life' was popular! The hole in the 'cup' is too small for the ball to easily plop into, I know if the hole was the size of a bucket it would defeat the object of the game but it is so hard the way it is, boredom kicks in before you every accomplish it. If mindless tasks are what lights your life you will love this. A better idea is to play with this in a shop or museum etc, then put it down and walk away, don't buy it and take it home. Use your £2 for something better.
WHAT IS IT? An old fashioned non powered game that features a wooden cup on a handle with a wooden ball attached by a length of string. It is brightly coloured but mine is different to the one in the photograph and is red with a single thick green line running around the top of the cup. HOW DO YOU PLAY? You launch the ball into the air and try to catch it with the cup. You can launch the ball any way you want to by either throwing it, flicking the ball in an upwards arc from a dangling position or sit it in the cup and throw it using that. It is suitable for children aged three and over but I do not think a child could safely play with the cup and ball until they were about 5, it's not just because they could break something with the ball but also because the string is so long that the hard wooden ball could hit them on the head. WHAT I THINK I think this is a fun game for children and helps them to learn about catching and coordination. It is hard to master at first but once a child learns how to move the cup under the ball they will get better very quickly so it is worth encouraging them. The string is long and that stops the ball from arcing so it can go into free fall to allow for catching. I bought this one for my daughter a year ago, it was £4.99 from London Zoo and it has been played with a lot. I keep it with her outdoor toys because I do not like her to play with it in the house, keeping it in the cold shed with other toys has not damaged it apart from the string has gone gray now and that makes it look old and dirty. There are a few little dents and chips in the wooden cup but this is not through playing and has happened when my daughter has thrown the toy down. The handle is the right length so children or adults can play with it, it's smooth and comfortable and that makes a difference when you want to teach a child a new skill. WHAT MY DAUGHTER THINKS My daughter is six and she got very frustrated with this toy when she first had it because even when we threw it gently for her she couldn't catch the ball. She has always thought it was fun but she plays with it a lot more now that she is confident. I have seen her making it more challenging for herself by throwing the ball higher into the air, but she is wary of doing this after it came down and hit her on the top of her head when she was holding the cup too close to her. She is usually very good at sharing but she doesn't like to play this with other people. My husband thinks that this is because she quite often doesn't catch the ball and is embarrassed at people seeing this but I think it would be a fun game to play with her friends. 4 Dooyoo Stars.
I was in Home Bargains last year and spotted one of these Cup and Ball sets. My son is keen on History so I thought this old fashioned toy would be right up his street. Costing only £1 (RRP a few quid more) I snapped it up as a stocking filler. This toy is very good quality, I have seen the similar ones in different places- Hawkins Bazaar for example sell them for £3 I think that's still reasonable. The toy itself is made wood, there are no sharp edges just lovely and smooth all over. The main body is about 20cm in length with the cup being just over an inch wide. The handle is clear varnished with the cup being brightly painted. The small red ball is smooth and attached by a long string. It hasn't come apart the string seems strong. In use: The object of the game is to try and get the ball into the cup by tossing the string and and ball into the air and then catching it in the cup- that's it. Sounds easy but it isn't, you have to get a technique going which I haven't sussed! I can't do it I'm rubbish and gave up, I get bored easily!. My son however kept at it and can now get the ball in several times in a row and quite quickly. It's definitely great for hand eye co ordination, my son improved his skill after struggling with it at first. Although boring and repetitive (I find) my son killed some time while playing with it. Him and his brother took it turns to see who could catch the ball the most in a row. It makes a change from having to 'think' like most games these days, there's no mental strategy involved like computer games so it's a break from it. He enjoyed it when he first got it but as with most things it's in a box under the bed, and rarely gets used. It makes a clacking noise when the ball hits the sides and can chip the paint abit, but this is only cosmetic. I would recommend this for a change and it doesn't take batteries!!
Like it or not Christmas is fast approaching and many will have to think of ideas to fill children's stockings! One idea is a simple toy that has been around for hundreds of years; the cup and ball. The cup and ball is a very simple toy, but one that requires skill and practice to perfect! It consists of a wooded cup on a handle with a wooden ball attached to the cup with a piece of string. The idea of the game is to swing the ball and try to get it to land inside the wooden cup. It really is not as easy as you think! The cup and ball has been around for centuries and was probably first played in ancient Greece. There is mention of the toy being widely played in France in the 16th century where it was known as bilboquet. The game was very popular in the court of Elizabeth 1st and even the queen herself was a fan of the game. The game is found all over the world and is sometimes played by Inuit's to hasten the return of the sun. The game is excellent for helping hand eye coordination as well as being fun. We bought our cup and ball game from the museum shop at Beamish and it is still played with by my son. We sometimes challenge each other to a game to see who can get the ball into the cup in the fastest time. I rarely win the challenge! I can't remember how much I paid for the toy, but think it was around £5. Our version is made of plain light coloured wood. I have seen this toy made of pained wood, although I prefer the plain variant. It is possible to make your own version of this toy . You will need an empty yogurt pot, string and silver foil. All you do is make a hole in the bottom of the yogurt pot, knot the string at the bottom and thread through the hole. Roll the tin foil into a ball and attach the string into the middle. Now you can swing the tin foil ball into the cup! Not as robust as a wooden version, but children may enjoy making their own! Overall this is a very simple toy that can be played both indoors and outside. It makes a change from battery and electronic toys too!
As a youngster I liked games which involved challenging friends like conkers and although I always lost I still liked to take part. This game is basically a cup and a ball and the idea is that you try and flip the ball into the cup. At first when seeing this on display in a local store I just assumed it was something silly and simple and in fact it proved more difficult than I had originally thought. The ball is made from wood and is coloured red and the red looks very striking in appearance. You then have the handle which is a nice pine wood type colour for the main handle and then at the top is the cup section. This overlaps the wooden handle and is coloured in yellow and green and the centre of the cup is red. Your aim then with the assistance of the string attached to the cup and ball is to make the ball land into the cup and remain there. The string is attached underneath the cup and onto the ball and it is not that easy at all. You have to try and find a rhythm because you will clip the outside of the cup constantly and then eventually you will land a shot into the cup. Trust me that moment is worth savouring because it could be ages until it happens again. The best record I currently have is 9 times in a row and this is because you do find a rhythm to getting it into the cup. There is a bad side to this game and this is the noise it generates when you hit that cup side over and over the sound is a hard thud and it can be annoying. The second problem is the wood chips away eventually and the colour runs from the paint. The hand is very durable and remains a good item to grip but I have placed some rubber around due to my palms get moist when I feel I am in a competition which sounds odd but I have always been that way. The string is also very strong and seems very attached to the ball and cup. I have pulled the string so hard sometimes you wonder when it might come lose but it has not happened so far. The price I got this for was £2.50 and it is a cheap little item and one you could put inside a stocking as a filler toy or you could use this with friends in competitions aiming to be the best. I think the colour scheme is good and it makes it appear fun but just be careful with the paint it can disappear quite quickly if you continue to chip away at the sides. A toy well worth the £2.50 and quite addictive at times.