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Cat's Cradle & Other String Games

Cat's Cradle & Other String Games

Do you enjoy playing fun and simple solitary games or games with a partner?  All you need is a long piece of string or yarn, and you are ready to create figures and play games alone or with a friend.

The old art and games using yarn and string are coming back and are popular with kids and teens alike. They are also popular with parents who need to keep their children entertained with a little quiet creativity!  But be careful because the whole family can get caught up in the fun art of yarn and string games!

The fun thing about these string figures and yarn games is that they start with one string figure and as you move along, flipping the yarn or string back and forth with your fingers, they turn into another figure.  

It takes some memory of the various steps used to transform the yarn or string into fancy shapes and figures, but that's another big part of the fun! Grab a friend and get started!

Getting Started With Cat's Cradle

First, you will need to prepare your yarn or string.  A rule of thumb is to hold the end of the string in one hand and with the other hand, wrap the string from your hand around your bent elbow 2 1/2 times.  Cut the string and tie it.  To see detailed video instructions on the best way to measure the length of the string or yarn and how to tie it, click here to learn how to get started, along with video directions for many string figures, including Open the Gate.

If this is your first time trying these games and figures, Cat's Cradle is the place to begin.  It won't take long until you've mastered Cat's Cradle, and then you can easily move strings around from Cat's Cradle to form the next figure called Cat's Whiskers.

You just need to move more strings around and then transform Cat's Whiskers to Jacob's Ladder.  Like magic, you can move strings from Jacob's Ladder to form the Eiffel Tower, and from that, on to Witch's Hat.

There are so many string and yarn figures to make alone or create with two people.  Try your hand (pun intended!) at Open the Gate, Hammock (also known as Fishnet), Spider Web, Flower, Star, and even one called Pants and Suspenders!

Look at our resources below and learn even more yarn or string figures to make and play. If you enjoy playing with string or yarn, check out our page on knot tying!




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 Cat's Cradle

Cat's Cradle

A Book of String Figures (Book and String) - This full-color, easy-to-understand instruction manual teaches the basics of string figures, including such favorites as Cat's Whiskers, Jacob's Ladder, Witch's Broom, and more. by Anne Akers Johnson - Paperback - Published 1993 Affiliate Link to Amazon

 Cat's Cradle & Other Fantastic String Figures

Cat's Cradle & Other Fantastic String Figures

Over 20 String Games. Includes DVD and 2 Strings. by Elizabeth Encarnacion - Hardcover - Published 2010

 String Games

String Games

A collection of easy-to-learn string figures and games. by Caroline F. Jayne - Paperback - Published 2005 Affiliate Link to Amazon

Cat's Craddle 101 (Video)

Advanced "How-To" video showing both slow and fast versions of how to do Tea Cup, Eiffel Tower, Witches Broom, Jacob's Ladder and Cat's Cradle. Excellent directions for playing Cat's Cradle game with two people. You Tube



Cat's Cradle

Instructions and pictures on how to do Cat's cradle. Instructables

Cat's Cradle - Video

This video shows the finger movements from two different angles to create Cat's Cradle. Metacafe

Cat's Cradle - What is Cat's Cradle

This article is about the specific game of Cat's cradle. It also tells how it is played with illustrations and includes the history of Cat's cradle. Wikipedia

Cat's Cradle Game

How to Play The Cat's Cradle Game: 24 steps (with pictures). WikiHow



Cat's Cradle How-To

Comprehensive instructions for doing Cat's Cradle. If You Love To Read

International String Figure Association

Fantastic website of the ISFA. Full color pictures of yarn and string figures, along with its history. Links to the Arctic String Figure Project as well as many other sites including those with videos showing how to create the string figures, museums with string figure artifacts, and much more. International String Figure Association

Jacob's Ladder

How to do Jacob's Ladder string figure. String Figure Studio

Jacob's Ladder Instructions

Instructions - pictorial and text. Fleeting Glimpse



Jacob's Ladder with String

Step by step instructions for making Jacob's Ladder String Figure. Mom's Minivan

String Figure - Alligator

How to guide on how to do the alligator string figure. You Tube

String Figure - Broom

Instructions on making the broom string figure. String Figure Studio

String Figure - Cat's Whiskers

Instructions and picture on how to make cats whiskers with string. WikiHow



String Figure - Cup and Saucer

Pictures and instructions for making cup and saucer with string. WikiHow

String Figure - Drum (Video)

How to do the Drum String Figure. You Tube

String Figure - Eiffel Tower

Pictures and instruction on how to make the Eiffel Tower string figure. WikiHow

String Figure - Jacob's Ladder

Easy to follow, step by step video instructions for using yarn to create Cat's Whiskers then moving past it to Jacob's Ladder. YouTube



String Figure - Jumping Flea (Video)

How to guide on how to do the Jumping Flea string figure. You Tube

String Figure - Star

Learn how to make a star string figure. WikiHow

String Figure - Sun

Instructions and pictures on how to do the sun string figure. String Figure Studio

String Figure - Swan

Learn how to make the swan string figure. String Figure Studio



String Figure - Teppee (Video)

How to do the Teppee String Figure. You Tube

String Figures

Animation of the basic opening used for many figures along with Jacob's Ladder, Two Mountains and a Stream and Walking Stick. Fleeting Glimpse

String Figures - Arctic String Figure Project

Dozens and dozens and dozens of string figures. Enjoy the fun learning them! International String Figure Association

String Figures - Bridge, Turtle, Rubber Band, Airplane

Learn how to do these string figures. String Figure Studio



String Figures - Diamonds

One, two and three diamonds. Learn how. String Figure Studio

String Figures - Jacobs Ladder & Eiffel Tower (Video)

A tutorial on how to make Jacob's Ladder and the Eiffel Tower out of string. You Tube

String Figures - Open the Gate

You Tube

String Figures - Two Mountains or Three Mountains

This is an easy beginners string figure. String Figure Studio



String Figures - Wink

This is an easy string figure. String Figure Studio

String Figures and How to Make Them

This is a study of Cat's cradle in many lands which includes how to do a large selection of string figures. A great site on string figures. String Figures











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