No Batteries Required: Serious Fun with String Games

People all over the world, from the Arctic to the South Pacific, love to play with string. They often use the pictures that the string suggests to tell stories from their ancient traditions. The Inuit might use sinews or leather from the animals they hunt, and the islanders might use tree bark fiber. You could use macrame or nylon cords or even simple, white string to show off your creations.

Turtles, parakeets, caterpillars, and caribou-- animals from all around the world can be captured in the net of your imagination. Check out the books and Web sites below for string designs you can make by yourself or with a friend. All it takes is six feet of string and some practice.

In the Library
Click on a title listed below to go to our catalog for more information. CRRL cardholders may reserve any of these to pick up at their favorite branches.

Cat's Cradle, Owl's Eyes: A Book of String Games by Camilla Gryski.
Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn 40 string games.

Friendship Bracelets by Camilla Gryski.
With bright embroidery thread and a safety pin, you can create friendship bracelets to share. Legend has it that if you wear a friendship (wish) bracelet until the thread breaks, your wish will be granted.

Lost! A Story in String by Paul Fleischman.
A grandmother tells a story about a young girl who uses her wits and what is available to her to help her survive when she is lost in the snow. Includes instructions for creating some of the string figures mentioned in the story.

Many Stars & More String Games by Camilla Gryski.
About two dozen string games to try, all linked to the culture that created it and sometimes a story.

The Rain or Shine Activity Book: Fun Things to Make and Do by Joanna Cole.
Gives directions for riddles, tongue-twisters, card games, street rhymes, brain teasers, and fun with string.

Super String Games by Camilla Gryski.
Gives step-by-step instructions for creating 26 string figures from around the world, including "The Fish Trap" and "The Sea Snake." Includes terms and basic figures.

On the Web

From the Pool to the Cradle
Photos show how two people can create this string piece that changes from one thing to another.

String Figures
Instructions and animations show how to make Jacob's Ladder, Two Mountains and a Stream, and Walking Sticks.

WWW Collection of Favorite String Figures
Look here for Kids' Guides to Easy String Figures, with and without video clips, a directory of string art performers and their Web sites, as well as figures contributed by online readers.