Idea No. 2 for kids + summer: String games

My oldest, making the Eiffel Tower

For our reunion this year, my mom asked all her adult children to bring an activity for the grandkids.

I hate planning activities. Or playing games. I’d rather sit around talking. Or reading a book. Or taking a nap. Or enjoying a break from my phone. Or cleaning a toilet.

But in an effort to not irritate my mother, I planned the easiest kids’ activity known to man: string games. As in cat’s cradle, Jacob’s ladder, and the like.

You guys, the kids were mesmerized—and all I had to bring on the trip was several yards of heavy-duty string. It was stupid-easy and lots of fun. The older kids caught on so fast, but even my five-year-old nephew was working hard to figure things out.

The witch’s broom

String games are a great alternative to playing on electronic devices all summer long. They would be perfect for a road trip or for a summer day on the couch when it’s just too scorching hot to be outside.

Here are a couple links to get you started:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpHTPnrYLzQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXV1rX-PvR0

Also, instead of tying the two ends of your string in a bulky knot, my mom uses nylon string, melts one end with a match, then touches it to the other end while still hot and melty. That way, the ends of the loop are fused together with no knot to mess things up.

What string games do you know? Which ones would you recommend to friends? And what are your favorite summer activities for kids? •

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