Finger Strings

A Book of Cat's Cradles and String Figures

Michael Taylor; Foreword by Ann Swain

Available to buy

Quick Look

Over eighty inventive and imaginative shapes and figures to create with finger strings.

229 x 210 mm
Floris Books
Crafts & Activities
over 600 colour diagrams, with two coloured strings
Age Range:
From 6 to 12 years
144 pages
Publication date:
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'. The 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!

Includes two brightly coloured strings to get you started.

Table of Contents

Meet the String Man
1. About String Games
2. Simple Figures
3. Stars
4. Popular Figures
5. Stories
6. 3d Figures
7. Moving Figures
8. Other Figures
9. Partner Games
10. Tricks
11. String Things
12. Children's Inventions
13. Very Simple Figures
14. Stringing Stories Together


'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


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.

You can also visit the author's own website at http://

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