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How to make cat’s cradles

Cat’s cradles have been made by peoples as diverse as Japanese school girls, African tribesmen, and Alaskan Eskimos. All you need to make one is 2 yards of string or yarn tied at the ends in a square knot and your two hands.

The basic cat’s cradle is made by passing the string behind the backs of both thumbs and little fingers (but in front of your other fingers) while holding your palms parallel. Draw your hands apart so that the string is taut, then bring your palms closer together so that the string loosens. Insert your right index finger under your left palmar string (the string lying in front of your left palm). Do the same with your left index finger and your right palmar string. Finally, draw your palms apart, tightening the string, and there you have it!

Working with the same string, you can make endless variations of this basic design. Use your imagination and experiment. It can be lots of fun.