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!