String game: Jacob’s ladder

String game: Jacob’s ladder

Remember all those old string games you used to play as a kid? String activities are actually a fantastic way to develop your child's fine motor skills. Forgotten how to do them? Just watch our video tutorial below to recall how to create Jacob's ladder with string.

What you need:

  • 100cm piece of string or wool, looped and tied together at the ends

Number of players:


To make Jacob's ladder, you have to first make cat's whiskers. Watch the video to see how.


Step 1: Start with the string behind your thumbs and pinkies, running across both palms.

Step 2: With your right hand, reach across to the left hand and hook your pointer finger under the string that runs across the palm. Pull your hands apart.

Step 3: Do the same thing with your left hand. This is called "Opening A".

Step 4: Drop the loops off your thumbs.

Step 5: With both thumbs, reach under all of the strings and hook the string farthest away.  Pull it back toward you.

Step 6: With your thumbs, reach over the first pointer finger string and under the second pointer finger string. Pull your thumbs back towards your body – there will be two loops on each thumb.

Step 7: Drop the loops off your pinkie fingers.

Step 8: Stretch your pinkies over the string closest to them that is on the pointer finger and hook them under the next string that is on the thumbs.

Step 9: Drop the loops from your thumbs.

Step 10: You've made the cat's whiskers string figure, but you need keep going to make Jacob's Ladder.

Step 11: With both thumbs, reach across the first two pointer finger strings and hook them under the third string.

Step 12: Pull the string back toward you.

Step 13: Pick up the closest string on the pointer fingers, and hook it over each thumb, but be careful not to drop any loops off your other fingers.

Step 14: Now there are two loops on each thumb.

Step 15: Pull the bottom loop over the top loop and off each thumb.

Step 16: Now there will be two triangular holes between each pointer finger and thumb.

Step 17: Hook your forefingers into these triangular holes.

Step 18: Drop the loops from your pinkies.

Step 19: Turn your palms out and away from you.

Step 20: Congratulations! You've made Jacob's ladder.

  • Thanks to our sister company Kidspot Australia for creating the instructional video.

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