The use of a braiding star comes from Japan and the technique is at least 1000 years old. The braiding technique is known in Japan as Kumihimo. Kumi means braids and himo means cord.
This ancient technique was used to make both functional and decorative cords. You can also make cords from yarn and other fibers for such things as friendship bracelets, decorative garland, actual cord and anything else your imagination comes up with.
This is a great pre-knitting activity for young kids to encourage fine motor skills and dexterity, but is also just a fun to do.