Kids' Games: How to Play Conkers, Cat's Cradle and Broken Telephone

July 28, 2015

Tips on playing conkers, cat's cradle and broken telephone

Some children's game have stood the test of time, and conkers, cat's cradle and broken telephone (or grapevine) are just a few of them. Learn how to play these delightful games that are loads of fun and require little to no props.

Kids' Games: How to Play Conkers, Cat's Cradle and Broken Telephone

1. Conquer at conkers

Arm yourself with a fine specimen of a horse chestnut. Choose a conker that's firm, of even shape and free of cracks. Drop it in a bowl of water: if it floats, it's damaged. Find a better one. Drive a hole through your conker with a skewer or hand drill, and thread and knot a length of string.

  • One opponent dangles their conker while the other takes a swing at it.
  • If a player spins their opponent's conker full circle, they get an extra crack at it. The winner is the one with a conker left on their string when the other has been smashed.

2. Have fun with cat's cradle

  1. Slip your hands through a loop of string about 80 centimetres (33 inches) long and pull them apart. Wind the string once around each of your palms.
  2. Slip one middle finger through the loop on the opposite palm and pull your hands apart. Repeat with the other hand to form a "cat's cradle."
  3. You need another player to join you at this point. Your playmate pinches the crisscrosses in the string.
  4. They should then pull the strings outwards, then down and back under the straight sides of your cat's cradle, coming up through the centre.
  5. The second player lifts the string off your hands and pulls their own fingers and hands apart to create a new shape: this is "the soldier's bed."

3. Play broken telephone

Pssst. Here's the lowdown on a wonderfully silly game, also called grapevine. Pass it on.  A group of, say, 12 of you sit in a circle. One person starts the game by whispering a brief message — once and only once — in the ear of the person on their left, who whispers it to the next person, who whispers it to the next. Once the eleventh person has passed the message on, the last person in the circle has to say what they think they heard. If the original has done the round intact, congratulate yourselves.

More probably it will have become garbled along the way — with potentially hilarious results.If you have sufficient numbers, you can also play as two teams. A phrase is chosen at random from a book or magazine and shown to the first player on each team. The message must then be passed around each team as quickly as possible, with points awarded for speed, accuracy or a particularly funny example of miscommunication.

These wonderfully easy games will keep your little ones entertained and require little to no props.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
Close menu