We used a 4 inch piece of wooden skewer, and a strip of newspaper, one and three quarters of an inch wide, by about 21 inches, or the width of an open page of ad.
We secured the strip of paper to the stick with packing tape.
Then, we wrapped it tightly around the stick, and our yo-yo was ready to go.
Below is a grainy, no sound video, of my left handed attempt to demonstrate the yo-yo, while filming at the same time (and no, I am not left handed, so needless to say, the yo-yo works better than it appears).
We continued experimenting by taping on more strips, for additional length. And, we made a larger size with a wood dowel, and strips of glossy newspaper taped together to make a strip, that was 4'' by 7'. They don't work quite as well as the store bought variety my husband, and I remember from our youth. In fact, my husband went out to the garage for a while, and returned with his old (30 year old) yo-yo. It did work better, but only a little. And really, it had been wound tightly for a long, long time, while our new yo-yos had only been wound for a few minutes before we put them to use.
I've heard of these being made with wrapping paper. But, why waste good paper, when there are so many ads just lying around?
It's great to be a homeschooler.