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Finger Strings: A Book of Cat's Cradles and String Figures [Spiral-bound]

Ann Swain , Michael Taylor
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 4.50 (30%)
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Book Description

25 Sep 2008
Finger string games are a wonderful opportunity for today's children to practise meaningful movement, explore space, interact with others, and exercise their creative spirits. They're also great fun! String games can be particularly useful with children who struggle at school, are dyslexic or who are learning concepts such as 'left and right', 'up and down'. This book contains games that will delight all children, from the very young to those with greater dexterity. Michael Taylor has many years of experience in working with children and has shared his string figures at schools and camps throughout the world. This book contains over 80 inventive and imaginative string games and stories, all clearly illustrated with step-by-step colour diagrams. The book is particularly designed to require as little page-turning as possible in the middle of making a string shape! It includes two brightly coloured strings to get you started.

Frequently Bought Together

Finger Strings: A Book of Cat's Cradles and String Figures + Cat's Cradle String + French Skipping
Price For All Three: 14.69

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Product details

  • Spiral-bound: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Floris Books; Spi edition (25 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863156657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863156656
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 21.8 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description


'The cat's cradle craze keeps popping up and this is the whole works. We start with a simple flag across our fingers and end up with wearable art. It can be an individual or a group activity - see the Five Person Star! There are even rhymes and stories to tell as you illustrate them in string. There are some scholarly notes which show how string games are part of many different cultures. An excellent 'cross-generational' book.' -- Carousel Christmas Guide to Children's Books 2008 'Children today sometimes miss out on traditional pursuits so it is always good to find a book that offers something a little different. This project book, complete with colourful string, is a great resource giving readers the chance to play games, make pictures and act out stories - all using string. Diagrams for over 80 activities are fairly easy to follow, even for an instruction phobic parent!' -- The Green Parent, Oct/Nov 2008 'Do you remember playing Cat's Cradle as a child? A new book - Finger Strings by Michael Taylor - offers step by step instructions for finger string games and comes with two strings. Why not relearn your skills and teach them to your children or grandchildren - or use them as an ice-breaker at a party?' -- Woman Alive, October 2008 'These are very clearly described and pictured, and there are examples of simple figures and some quite complicated. Some can be used in the telling of a story and others have a poem accompanying them; there is much potential for use across a wide range from playgroup to adult, and indeed some shapes have been invented by children themselves. The sense of achievement when the desired result is reached is very satisfying! ... It can be addictive: back to Jacob's Ladder ...' -- Diana Barnes, The School Librarian

About the Author

Michael Taylor is a teacher at Philpots Manor School in the UK who promotes traditional childhood games of movement and agility for the classroom, playground and gym. As well as string figures he collects and teaches clapping games, finger-games, jump-rope activities, ball-bouncing and bean-bag games. He always carries a string with him, and has been known to share string patterns with strangers on tube trains and aeroplanes. He is the author of Pull the Other One and Now You See It.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special book 18 May 2009
I have many string figure books, but this one is special.

First, the illustrations. The use of the colour is so good.
There are green arrows to show the movement of the strings,
and other green arrows that change to red to mean that a new string has been picked by a finger.
The final illustrations are multicoloured.

Secondly, the choice of the figures:
even the simple figures will interest everybody. The author knows how to introduce a story (flag and girl) or a little magic (necklace link) into the making of the string game.
There are many stars, not only made with strings (five-pointed stars) but also with elastic band (star in a star) and stars for two or five persons (big star)!
The figures that going so well with little stories (the sealskin house) ) or rhymes (nibble fish) (by Jaimen McMillan and Milly Reynolds).
All the people loves 3D figures and Michael Taylor puts also some.
The Eiffel Tower on four feet is fantastic and so simple.
I have kids and I know that they are always impressed by the
moving figures. The growing sunflower that changes into two men
(one with a big belly!) is the best.
You have as well what I call special figures:
the ringing bell and the Olympic flag.

Thirdly, the chapters: partner games (tortoise shell), tricks (thumb jump), string things (wrist watch), children inventions (trampoline), the very simple figures (dewdrops) include many figures old and new
that will enchant you.

Last but not least, the last chapter Stringing stories together.
Two long stories (The dragon, the Princess and Jack/Two brothers find treasure), a gift that will delight you.
Don't forget to read ideas for making stories and as well
the sources of the figures.
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for 10-11 year old 19 April 2012
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
The cat's cradle bug hit our school and my (just) 11 year old wanted to learn more.
I bought this one based on reviews of being too difficult for younger children, with the Klutz version ideal for younger children. We hoped this would be detailed and thorough, and it is perfect.
The Cat's Cradle part is a small section really and I had no idea there were more totally amazing things that could be achieved with string.
My daughter is now telling us stories with the string!
The string can be made into a scissor shape, a witches broom, a flapping fish, a star, a butterfly, a birthday cake with candles which blow out and other totally amazing configurations.
She stands in my bedroom doorway at night and just starts a story while making the (very good) shapes with the string and it is very entertaining.
We are now far beyond simple cat's cradle. I am totally impressed.
Not for younger children though. My 8 year old can't follow the directions. My 11 year old easily can.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 11 Nov 2010
This is a brilliant book for children and to bring back fun memories of childhood in the playground. I bought this for a friends daughter and couldn't help but having a go myself. As Myriam Namolaru said it covers all string figures you can remember and other many people have probably never seen before from countries all round the world. It includes to pieces of long, strong string and as well as showing string figures for one person it also has a chapter on partner games. I believe this book is well worth the cost and am sure that it will keep my friends daughter well entertained.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packed with ideas 3 Dec 2011
By CathyT
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
This is a great book and excellent value for money.

There are so many ideas here, it is keeping my daughter (and myself) occupied for hours.

It takes a little while to get used to the instructions, and I would recommend 8+ as appropriate age group.

It comes with 2 strings which are good quality and are still going strong now (we have had it about 6 months)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good distraction for a long plane journey 5 Oct 2011
Format:Spiral-bound|Verified Purchase
The picture on the front makes it look as though the book is meant for children. There are more straight forward books on the market so if this is your first I'd probably avoid it, however, as it is more advanced it is nice to sit and do with your child if they have the patience - there are two strings supplied, again nice for sharing and some of the games involve both strings! Some of the illustrations are a bit tricky to follow, but was a really good distraction during a long plane journey.
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