String game: Stethoscope

String game: Stethoscope

String games have been passed down from generation to generation. This 'stethoscope' string figure is based on two other string formations. It's a good one to learn as it looks tricky but once you watch our how-to video and you'll see how easy it actually is.

What you need:

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

Number of players:


To make a stethoscope (also known as the elephant's nose) string formation, you'll have to first make a cup and saucer and an Eiffel Tower string formation. Watch the video to show you how to make these and then follow the written instructions below to make the stethoscope.


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 the string that runs across the left palm.

Step 3: Pull your hands apart.

Step 4: Do the same with the other hand.

Step 5: Pull your hands apart again.

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: Using your teeth (easiest) or pinkie fingers (if you’re feeling dexterous), pull the bottom string off your thumbs and pass it over the top string.

Step 8: Drop the loops off both pinkie fingers and pull your hands apart.

Step 9: Tilt your thumbs up, and you have a cup and saucer.

Step 10: Now use your teeth to grab the top string (the top edge of the 'cup').

Step 11: Drop the loops off your thumbs. 

Step 12: You've made the Eiffel Tower!

To turn your Eiffel Tower into a stethoscope:

Step 13: Turn your tower upside down.

Step 14: Put the two loops over your ears.

Step 15: Use the bit hanging down in front of you as your stethoscope.

Step 16: Put it on someone's chest and pull it tight, then rhythmically stroke the two strings. You should get a nice heartbeat sound out of the strings.

To turn your Eiffel Tower string figure into a stethoscope:

Step 13: Take the center of the "Y" and put it on your nose.

Step 14: Leave the two nooses on your ears.

Step 15: The remaining noose should hang from your nose.

Step 16: You have now made the stethoscope string figure.


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

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