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How to play cats cradle

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cat's cradle
Playing cat's cradle takes nimble fingers
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Learning how to play cat's cradle requires manual dexterity and patience

Cat's Cradle is probably a game you have heard of but never really knew how to play. The 
game has been around a long time and despite its age is still a form of entertainment that takes quite a bit of practice to master.

This string game is basically supposed to allow you to form different shapes, dictated by how you position your fingers and where the string eventually goes when you are positioning your fingers.

Learning how to play cat's cradle takes quite a bit of work and is not something that can be done perfectly the first time out. The most important thing to remember is that this is not an activity you can do really successfully by yourself. You will need another person (someone you are comfortable with) who will, at times, need to put their hands in and around yours in order to come up with the designs.

The first step when playing this particular game is to get a piece of string or cord that is about 58 inches or longer. You should then tie the two ends of the string together and cut off the ends so that it appears you have a circle of string. Slip the knotted circle over your hands and spread them.

Wind the string around both palms, making sure to not include your thumbs. Take the string and loop it around your palms while facing both palms toward you. You should do this with both hands.

You should then move your right middle finger to the left and grab the left palm string, then move the finger back to the original position, with the string looped around it. Do the same with your left hand. These movements form the cradle.

Have someone else pinch the two x's that should have been made in each hand, then they should push the x's down and outside the side strings, then push them back up through the center of the design. This design is actually called the cradle and means that you have completed the first of a couple of different designs you can make with the strings.

If you want to make a couple of other designs, they are all based on the original start of making the cradle. For one example of where you can go once you have the cradle, if you hold the design that made the cradle, then drop your strings while the other player pulls their hands apart (while still holding the strings) you have essentially made another design called "the soldier's bed."

If you want to start completely over, you can start on something like "Diamonds." 

The first step for this design is to get to where you have two x's again. This time you want to pinch those x's from the outside of the strings and then the other player will pull them out and up. Once they have a grasp on the strings, turn your hands over and push your fingers into the center.

Once this has been completed your partner should let go of their strings, while you spread your hands apart and that will make the designs that show the "diamonds."

It is always important to note that playing string games, like making string friendship bracelets and other string crafts, also takes an awful lot of patience. This is not something you are going to be able to spend land speed records completing. This is obviously also not a game where you are trying to beat the other person. Rather it takes a great deal of teamwork in order to get the designs to look the way they are supposed to look.

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