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The game of Cat's Cradle has a rich and varied history. It is believed to have traveled from Asia to Europe with the tea trade in the early seventeenth century. History reveals that children in England played Cat's Cradle as early as 1782. In Colonial America, Cat's Cradle, (or "cratch-cradle" as it was sometimes known) was among the earliest and most popular of all known string games.
Cat's Cradle is actually only one of many hundreds of string games or figures. The making of string figures is one of the oldest of all arts, the most universal of games among people of the world. For hundreds and thousands of years, people in various parts of the world have derived simple and complex sets of designs using nothing more that a loop of string between their fingers.
The names of these string game figures reveal much about the people who invented them-the tools they used, the food they cultivated, their view of the world, and the spirits they may have believed in. To introduce the fascinating world of string games, we have included: Cat's Cradle, Cup and Saucer, Witch's Broom, Cat;s Whiskers and Jacobs Ladder.