Temari with Pins


By using mathematical reasoning and problem solving, create and design your own Japanese Temari ball using principles of geometry and thread.

Temari Ball Orange, Blue, White

What is a Temari Ball?

This intricately woven traditional Japanese craft has had many uses.  It began in China as a men’s kicking game like hacky sack, and has evolved to a child’s tossing game, a women’s craft pastime and a mother’s gift to their child.

The ball can be made with any type of fabric for the base, wrapped in felt and finally the design is woven, wrapped or threaded.  Mathematical thinking and problem are inherent in the beautiful and complicated designs that are seen on Temari balls.  And, some Temari balls even have a bell inside.


Teimari Ball Orange

How to Create a Temari Ball


  • Yarn
  • Thread
  • A needle
  • Sciccors


  1. Role the yarn into a tight ball, approximately the size of your fist.
  2. Tie the end of a neutral colored thread, and wrap the yarn ball in thread (diagonally) until you can no longer see the yarn.
  3. Attach pins to the ball to create a grid that you will use to make your design.  Place one pin at the top of the ball and one pin at the bottom (north and south pole).  Then place pins evenly space around the center of balls (perpendicular to the first pins) to create what looks like the equator.
  4. Using different colored threads (one at a time) sew the end of the thread to the ball a few time, then wrap the thread around the ball and pins to create your designs.  When you are finished with a particular colored thread wrap it around one of the pins and sew through the ball a few time to secure it.
  5. For a more detailed description of this process with pictures,visit: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-Temari/

While Making the Temari Ball document how you are approaching your design by using the following terms and chart.  Write the terms as you are using that particular step.  There is no “correct” route, your particular steps may go in any order.  Explore how you are using mathematical problem solving to recreate a beautiful folk art tradition.


Record Your Process

Experiment/Test/Research Testing the limits of the string against the ball.  Trying to see how far off the middle it will go without falling off or needing a pin.
Conclusion I think…..
Hypothesis I will try…
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