Sunday, May 20, 2012

Year End Sanity Saver: String Games

When I was a kid I loved carrying a string in my book bag, and practicing string games for hours on the bus. Back in my day, most kids played string games. If anyone would have told me this would be so popular with my students, I would have been skeptical. They are LOVIN' string games!

Here is the background research I did: I did a little online research to see what I could find. I like THIS SITE because it has little videos to see how the string is supposed to move on the fingers.

I also looked through a few books and check some out of the library.  Public libraries can almost always provide a few books

 String Games by Richard Darsie

Cat's Cradle is one of several Klutz books

Super String Games by Camilla Gryski

Then I provided just one skein of yarn.  Kids have cut dozens, maybe hundreds of strings and there is still more left.  

I taught the students just a few of the moves I could remember.  They started teaching each other.  They practice at home.  Their parents showed them more games.  They play when they finish lunch.  They take strings out to recess.  I have to make rules about when you can have the strings out and when they must be away.  Both boys and girls are really enjoying the experience.

I also like that this requires sequencing and lots of practice to mastery.   I like that kids are learning to entertain themselves.   I like that I'm witnessing lots of problem solving and kids helping kids.  I also like that this is something that kids can do over the summer that does not cost money or involve electronics.

What sanity saving activities are you doing with your students at the end of the year?

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