Cats cradle

could there be a better party game?
found some elastic at Martha's and we couldnt resist playing!

Cat's cradle is a well known series of string figures. The name of the entire game, the specific figures, their order, and the names of the figures vary. Versions of this game have been found in indigenous cultures all over the world--from the Arctic to the Equatorial zones.

The game begins with the first player wrapping a loop of string around the hands (around the fingers or wrists) and taking one side of the string and circling the hands again. Then this player performs the last two moves of Opening A: taking the string which runs on the inside of the left arm onto the first finger of their right hand, then, reaching through the triangle created, the loop on the inside of the right hand is taken onto the first finger of the left hand).
This creates two sets of crossed string between both hands. A second player grasps each cross horizontally using the thumb and first fingers, pulls these outwards, down under the line which runs below the crosses from the first players wrists, and back up. The first player lets go of the figure and the second player stretches it open by bringing apart the thumbs and fingers. This figure is the "diamonds". A series of other alterations produce more figures, some of which lead back to the diamonds while some are dead ends and cannot be transformed. (Some say that "diamonds" is the cat's cradle from the game title, while others insist it's only the game title, and not any figures.)
This game is very simple and is always started with opening A. After that one mostly pinches the x's and wrap them around the outside strings. The others tend to need a little more practice.


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