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How to do Cat's Cradle Game

Updated on May 19, 2013

How to Play the Cats Cradle Game

Doing Cat's Cradle is a fun pastime that can be enjoyed by small children. It is also a nostalgic handgame to many adults.


The game starts with a loop of string or twine. Yarn is most commonly used.

  • Put both hands through the loop and pull apart (make a big oval)
  • Twist each hand through the loop once more so that there are loops around both wrists
  • Slide the middle finger under the loop on opposite wrist and pull back
  • Do the same on the other side, pulling through the opposite loop

Now your hands should look like this. (from top, 2nd view from side)

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this is the "cradle." The size isn't important as long as you have enough space between your hands to continue.


The second move for playing Cats Cradle is to make the bed. This requires a second person.

  • Person B pinches the X's shown in the side view above
  • Person B pulls X's out of the cradle to either side, and up again through the bottom
  • As B pushes their hands up through the cradle, A releases the string and B takes it

See below for a top view of B's hands now holding the "Soldier's Bed."

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this move may take a few practice runs. Person B must open their fingers after A releases, then pull the string apart. It should fall like this if all strings are caught properly.


The next step is for person A to repeat B's action- taking the X's and pulling them out, through, and up.


Below you can see this step finished. This part is called "Candles."

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