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Forums > Social Discussion > What is the best age to start playing with fire?

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North

Total posts: 1965
Posted:Ok just so you all undrestand what I'm on about I have a 3yo boy and he has been spinning sock poi since he was old enough to pic them up. He can do a good butterfly and wraps around various parts of his body but we are still working on a 3bt but he's getting there.



I just wanted to know what you other hoppers thought about the best age for him to start spinning fire and no not right now coz he is still too young in my eyes.



To put your minds at ease I will be making him some ickle fire poi (very small wicks wick a 1min burn time at the most) some time in the future and when he spins them there will be adult supervision (me, the missus and mates that spin). He will also need to have figured out a 3bt and be able to transition thru his moves before I will even consider putting fire in his hands.



At a best guess I would say that he was old enough at 6yo but that is still dependant on his skill level (please remember that he will be supervised and that he has grown up with fire type people).



So all of your thoughts would be appreciated Cheers


May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North

Total posts: 1965
Posted:I don't have any glow poi so we just spin socks but it might just be a wothwhile investment

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:SOCKXS!!

Scary!



Glowies! augh hard nasty things! A few of us chipped in , during the last extensive discussion of this topic, that we have never hurt ourselves with fire but done very painful things with hard whirling plastic... wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted: Written by: Pyrolific

Let me illustrate with an example - I'm not saying that your kid will be like this but anyhow.

Last time I went to Confest (a big hippy festival with a lot of fire twirling) one of the best twirlers I saw was a 10 yr old kid. He'd obviously been coming to Confest and fire twirling since he could walk (there were other kids there fire twirling not much older than your child too eg 4). This kid obviously practised with fire all the time, and during the festival perhaps lit up about 100 times over three nights or so. I'm not exaggerating. He loved it, and his parents obviously proud as punch with their kid being so good at an expressive hippy art, let him go. He was inhaling several times more fumes than anyone else there - including the most dedicated adults.

There just isn't any way that that level of fire play is not doing him harm.



you are talking about the inspirational Liam. he scored a painful burn from an impromptu fire skip rope session on the saturday night of the recent confest. his parents encourage him to play and I have to be really careful about my habits around he and other very impressionable twirlers.
it is difficult to pass on a sense of responsibility to a 12 year old when there is so much coolness attached to this art form.

in practice, the best way to influence younger twirlers to adopt sustainable practices is to set a good example and get involved. it is not through to dictating and complaining, which i see happen also.

the young twirlers at confest are such an inspiration, practicing twirling movements that 5-6 years ago would have been elite moves.


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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Shawnie
GOLD Member since Mar 2004

Captain Shawnie the Dreaded


Total posts: 126
Posted:As a student, I boarded with a family for 2 years. One member of my rent-a-fam was a young boy who was 9 when I first moved in. During my second year, when he was 11, after watching me do so much poi, he wanted to try it too. We practised poi together for a couple of hours every day after school and it was a load of fun! (Afterward he's teach me the finer points of hockey and hockey on the PS2) Anyway, after a while and after a discussion with his mother, we decided to let him do fire and he did a fantastic job! Better than most young adults I've taught.

Of course, for two years whenever I did poi with fire I always told him that he had to help me figure out if my decisions were okay and he was my fire safety man. lol Before every spin session, he'd be my helper, checking over my clothing choices, helping me do my tool check, helping me set up my fuel site, helping me check out the spinning area, checking all the safety equipment and so on.... So he had a sense of responsibility throughout it all.

Of course I think it all depends on the kid. This guy happened to be mature on some things (hunting, fire safety) but not so much on others. Kids are just as individual as we adults and there are as many variables for when they're ready for fire as there are for when adults are ready. Why don't you ask somebody who is less biased about your kid than you are?

I do think that kids can do lots of adult things just as well and better than adults can under the right circumstances. Heck, the 11 year old I was talking about... we gave him a damp towel too to instill that sense of responsibility around fire... he put out a fire on my shoulder that nobody else had noticed yet.

I say give kids a chance! But an extremely well supervised one. For this little guy, he had little wicks and I would do all the fuel management, lighting and then I would spin them for a little bit. I find that most people only catch fire in the early part of their burn when they've just lit up, and almost never catch fire when the wick is starting to die out and turning blue. So he did spin fire, but it was very structured.


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Kathain_Bowen


Kathain_Bowen

Good Ol' Yarn For Hair
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA

Total posts: 422
Posted:I'm very torn by this topic. See, when I was younger, my riding instructor explained his minimum age for schooling as 10 years old. His arguments were that children under 10 were more likely to accidentally (and purposely) put themselves into dangerous situations at the worse case scenario and less likely to bounce back from an accident at the best case. In a sense, as a result of seeing this wisdom work, I would have to say 10 at a minimum.

However, as a disclaimer, I'm going to have to say 18. Why 18? Because, at the age of 18 (at least in America) you are generally considered to be an adult and legally responsible for your own actions. Not HoP, not KathainBowen, notyour parents, and not the original poster. So, we cannot be legally responsible if you hurt yourself or someone else for encouraging a minor to engage in dangerous and potentially deadly activities.

soapbox


"So long and thanks for all the fish."

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kash
GOLD Member since May 2006

kash

Dangerous cynic


Total posts: 166
Posted: Written by: newgabe


Really! That is terrible! Honestly mate, never mind the kids, it sounds like YOU need more practice and a safer attitude/fuel/clothes/whatever it takes! I don't think I have ever burned myself spinning fire, and I have been doing it for 10 years. (I have scorched my hair) I have seen people get burned of course.. generally that is with the extra pressure of a performance context/ doing contact staff.



thanks for your concern, but I'm fine... really. I find it very hard to believe that I am the only person ever to has skimmed a bare arm with a fire poi, or touched a hot metal part I thought was cool enough. I'm not talking serious burns needing medical attention, I'm talking a moment of "ouch, that's a tad hot" to a tiny red spot that goes away by the next day. I still wouldn't want to risk a kid with that. If it makes you sleep better at night, I have never caught myself alight, had a burn that blistered, or scorched my hair.


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted: Written by: kash


thanks for your concern, but I'm fine... really....I have never caught myself alight, had a burn that blistered, or scorched my hair.



Phew! Not really burns then, that's a relief! I'm more clumsy than you then wink

Scorching the back of my hair has led me to a rather attractive short at the back long at the front hairstyle that I am now quite fond of smile I once burned my finger when I was doing safety moving some unlit poi that someone left next to the damp towel. Unlit hot toys now seem more dangerous to me than fire...

Still, I do refer you all who are interested in this topic to the earlier thread, that included a discussion of the other sports like rugby and surfing that people think are fine for kids... a visit to a spinal injuries unit illuminates the risks of those compared to the obvious and, in my experience, overstated risks of fire twirling. My insurance company concurs. The only endorsement they put on training under 18's in twirling was one against molestation by the instructor!


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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kash
GOLD Member since May 2006

kash

Dangerous cynic


Total posts: 166
Posted:My worst injury so far was when somehow (stall or isolation gone bad mebbe) a poi hit the underside of my upper arm, it was just a glancing blow but the skin is so thin there it stung like hell for a couple of days. I do agree about unlit hot poi, at least flames are *obviously* hot.

I always think that if I hurt myself, it's my own stupid fault - I often take risks with myself that I would never ask anyone else to, but if a child in my charge (I'm a teacher so I often have children in my charge) gets hurt, it is my responsibility. I would weigh up the need for the activity against the risk of harm. In my science lessons kids do all sorts of risky things (in a controlled, risk assessed environment) but usually because I feel it is necessary for their learning, and the benefit greatly outweighs the risk. If there is a way to achieve the same result, safer, I would go for that. Glow poi are just about as fun and stimulating to spin as fire, with more freedom to experiment and no risk, so I would give the child glow poi.


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Ashes


newbie


Total posts: 6
Posted: Written by: Fefnir


My friends mom on the other hand probably wont let him spin fire anymore because last night he caught his hair on fire while transitioning into the mexican wave. >.<



Haha, that was me!

From the butterfly, to the mexican wave, my poi heads hit each other, and the impact sent one of them bouncing across my head. I was pissed that you didn't get a picture of it, Fefnir. XP

And as you know, Fefnir, my mother is letting me spin fire again. It just took me a while to get back into spinning. That was a turning point, though. Because now that I'm back into it, I'm learning moves at a much faster rate, and I'm spinning a lot more often. Sometimes the accidents can help you out.


What good are Ashes?

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Fire_Moose
SILVER Member since May 2007

Fire_Moose

Elusive and Bearded
Location: Scottsdale, AZ

Total posts: 3597
Posted::shocked:

Is that another phoenixian?


O.B.E.S.E.

Owned by Mynci!

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Ashes


newbie


Total posts: 6
Posted:T'would be, yes.

What good are Ashes?

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poinoob
SILVER Member since Oct 2007

member
Location: louisianna, new orleans

Total posts: 45
Posted:here is an idea to hold him over till he is ready for fire invest in some good l.e.d. poi like flowpoi from flowtoys.com it would be fun for him lil prettier than standard sox. as far as age i personally would say 9 at the youngest fire is alot to handle and keeping his poi and your locked up so he cant steal them and put on a show for his buddies might be an excellent idea as well if any of you remember your boy hood

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DarkFyre
BRONZE Member since Nov 2005

DarkFyre

HoP mage and keeper of the fireballs
Location: Palmerston North

Total posts: 1965
Posted:This is going to sound bad but in my boyhood I used to make explosives and play with fireworks so that probably isn't an example that I wish for my son to follow in.

May my balls of fire set your balls on fire devil

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Rellizate
GOLD Member since Feb 2007

Rellizate

old hand
Location: Cambridge, UK

Total posts: 719
Posted: Written by: dizzypheonix


This is going to sound bad but in my boyhood I used to make explosives and play with fireworks so that probably isn't an example that I wish for my son to follow in.



Same! My parents stopped me when I made a fully working cannon though... rolleyes


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