Tricks With Cats Cradle

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Being able to craft a witch's broom or Jacob's ladder out of string might not land you an A in math class, but it'll sure make you the talk of the playground. Cat's cradle is a string game that can be played in a series of steps, between two people or individually, with the objective being to create images with the string. Practice and patience are needed to master these moves and commit them to muscle memory. The moves will stay with you forever, providing you with an ice breaker at social events for years to come.

All you need to start playing is a string loop.
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Begin with the standard starting position: Place the string around your thumbs and pinkies so that the string rests on the inside of your palms. Pull your hands apart so the string is taut. After each step, make sure the string is taut and your palms are facing each other with your fingers spread.

Move your left middle finger across to your right palm. Slide your middle finger under the palm string, and pull your finger and the string back to starting position. Do the same move with your right middle finger. We will call this position one.

Move both thumbs forward over the middle finger string nearest to your body and under the second middle finger string. Pull the string and your thumbs back to starting position. There will be two strings on each of your thumbs now.

Lift the lower thumb string over both of your thumbs. There will be only one string on your thumbs now.

Release the string from both of your pinkies, and pull the string taut. Rotate your hands forward 90 degrees, so your thumbs are on top. Admire your work, or take the middle of the thumb string in your teeth, drop it from your thumbs and pull away from your body with your middle fingers. You've created the Eiffel Tower.

Try the cup and saucer.
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Begin with the standard starting position: Place the string around your thumbs and pinkies so that the string rests on the inside of your palms. Pull your hands apart so the string is taut. After each step, make sure the string is taut and your palms are facing each other with your fingers spread.

Move your right middle finger across to your left palm. Slide your middle finger under the palm string. Twirl your middle finger and the string in a clockwise direction six times in order to twist the string. Pull your finger and the string back to starting position.

Move your left middle finger across to your right palm. Coming from the top, slide your left middle finger into the hole of the string on your right middle finger, and then underneath and through the right palm string, in an upwards motion. Pull your hand and the string back to starting position.

Drop the strings from your right thumb and pinkie. Rotate your hands 90 degrees, so that your right palm is on top and parallel to the ground. Admire the witch's broom.

The witch's broom is a delight to create.
David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

Begin with the standard starting position: Place the string around your thumbs and pinkies so that the string rests on the inside of your palms, then pull your hands apart so the string is taut. After each step, make sure the string is taut and your palms are facing each other with your fingers spread.

Move your left middle finger across to your right palm. Slide your middle finger under the palm string, and pull your finger and the string back to starting position. Do the same move with your right middle finger. Pull the string tight.

Drop the string from both of your thumbs.

Move both thumbs forward under all four strings. Grab the fourth string with the backs of your thumbs. Pull the string and your thumbs back under the first three strings and into starting position.

Move your thumbs forward over the first middle finger string and under the second middle finger string. Pull your thumbs and the string back to starting position. There will be two strings on your thumbs now.

Drop the string from both your pinkies and pull the string taut on your hands.

Move your pinkies forward towards your body and over the string nearest your pinkies (or furthest from your body). Move your pinkies under the second string nearest them (or third furthest from your body). Pull the string and your pinkies back to starting position.

Drop the strings from both your thumbs, and pull taut. Turn your hands 90 degrees so that your thumbs are on top. Hold the image up under your nose. You now have whiskers.

Make cat whiskers.
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Begin with the standard starting position: Place the string around your thumbs and pinkies so that the string rests on the inside of your palms, then pull your hands apart so the string is taut. After each step, make sure the string is taut and your palms are facing each other with your fingers spread.

Move your left middle finger across to your right palm. Slide your middle finger under the palm string, and pull your finger and the string back to starting position. Do the same move with your right middle finger. Pull the string tight.

Drop the string from both of your thumbs.

Move both thumbs forward under all four strings. Grab the fourth string with the backs of your thumbs. Pull the string and your thumbs back under the first three strings and into starting position.

Move your thumbs forward over the first middle finger string and under the second middle finger string. Pull your thumbs and the string back to starting position. There will be two strings on your thumbs now.

Drop the string from both your pinkies, and pull the string taught on your hands.

Move your pinkies forward toward your body and over the string nearest your pinkies (or furthest from your body). Move your pinkies under the second string nearest them (or third furthest from your body). Pull the string and your pinkies back to starting position.

Drop the strings from both your thumbs, and pull taut.

Move your thumbs forward over the first two strings nearest your body and under the third string. Pull the string and your thumbs back to starting position.

Using your right thumb and index finger, pull the string closest to your body on your left middle finger over your thumb. Do the same on your right hand. You now will have two strings on each thumb.

Pull the bottom string on each thumb over and off each thumb. You should see two triangles appear near each thumb.

In a downwards motion, insert both index fingers into the triangles nearest the thumb and simultaneously drop the strings from your pinkies while turning palms downward so that your fingers are pointing toward the ground. Pull hands and string taut. Turn your hands 90 degrees so that your palms are facing away from your body. Admire your Jacob's ladder.

A Jacob's ladder is an exciting string trick to show your friends.
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References

  • Klutz K536 Cat's Cradle Book Kit by Klutz
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