Education Resources Center
   Cordage Discovery Box
   Cordage Uses ~ String Games
Learn More About Cordage
 
 
 
 
 
 

Let's Learn About

    Return to Cordage Uses

    Return to Games


Try Your Hand

String Games, sometimes called "Cat's Cradle", were played by Idaho's Native Peoples as competition, and for relaxing entertainment.

The String Games also kept the players fingers and hands limber; good training for doing tasks like quill work or fletching arrows, which required fine finger control.

To play the String Games you will need 36-55 inches of medium weight cotton string. Or, first, make your own cordage from raffia that you have retted in water. Tie the ends together with a square knot to form a circle of string. Then follow the directions given below.

NOTE: For all directions R= Right hand and L= Left Hand.

The Fish Net

1. Place string across palms of hands.
2. Behind thumbs and little fingers.
3. Place index finger of R hand through string across palm of L.
4. Place index finger of L hand through string across palm of R.
5. Pull hands apart making two X's.

6. Let string around thumbs go.
7. Put thumbs under all strings.
8. With thumbs pull up fourth (last) string.
9. Continue with thumbs and pull third string over thumbs.

10. Let string on little fingers go.
11. With little fingers, go over fourth string
.
12. Pick up third string with top of little fingers.
13. Let thumbs go.
14. Pick up third string with top of thumbs.

15. Loop first string of R & L index fingers over thumbs.
16. Dip thumbs down.
17. Allow string on bottom to loop over thumbs.

18. Spread hands slightly.
19. Triangle should appear next to thumb.
20. Place index finger down into triangle.
21. Turn hand slightly, releasing little finger.
22. Spread thumb and index to make fishnet.



Duck Walking

1. Place string across palms of hands.
2. Behind thumbs and little fingers.
3. Place index finger of R hand through string across palm of L.
4. Place index finger of L hand through string across palm of R.
5. Pull hands apart making two X's.

6. Turn palms toward yourself..
7. Fold fingers (not thumbs) over strings in palms of hands.
8. Rotate hands turning the free string.
9. From front of hands to back of hands
10. Thumbs should now be free.

11. Slip thumbs under first string of the X between your palms.
12. Transfer that string to thumbs

13. Using your left hand take string on back of right hand.
14. Place it around the right third finger.
15. Using your right hand take string on back of left hand.
16. Place it around the left third finger and hold.

17. Rotate hand towards yourself again.
18. Little fingers of both R & L hands...
19. Go under string which goes around the little finger.
20. Place string to back of each little finger.
21. Take bottom string on back of each little finger.
22. Wrap that string over top string to front of each little finger.

23. Pull thumbs and index fingers out of strings.
24. While pulling out with remaining fingers.
25. String should look like duck feet.

26. String should be around third & little fingers
27. Point fingers down and make duck walk