Spider Web


“The Kids’ Guide to Classic Games,” by Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt, introduced a new game that we tried a few times this past week. Spiderweb was a lot of fun for a very specific age group. The 5- and 7-year-olds loved it, though they needed a bit of help playing. The kids over the age of 10 found it a little boring. I think this game would be ideal for the 7-10 set.

The basics of the game:

  1. Each player starts with an equal length of string.
  2. Tie one end of the string to any point in the playing area (a piece of furniture or banister indoors, a tree or swingset outdoors, etc.)
  3. Run the string from point to point in the playing area, using any order or pattern. The strings should criss-cross all over the place, creating a web of the strings from all players. Players will tie the end of the string to the closest object when they run out of rope. Have them stay put after they do so – it will help the transition from setup to game play.           criss-cross spider web
  4. Players will then swap end points. This can be tricky, especially with a lot of players. This is why they should stay put when they finish setting up their own string.  It’s helpful to have all players keep a hand on their end points, then move one person at a time.

    tie-offs

    That baby gate sure comes in handy

  5. Each player will then detach the end they are now holding. This may require a pair of scissors. Make sure everyone stays put once their ends are detached so that nobody gets a head start.
  6. Blow a whistle or say “GO!” All players will then unravel their strings. The first person to reach the beginning of their assigned string wins.

We tried this outdoors and indoors. The outdoor one had a lot of potential, but we gave up on it after about an hour into setup because, well, it was an HOUR into setup. Using trees and house structures required a lot longer lengths of string, which became hopelessly tangled almost immediately. Working indoors allowed us to use a more confined space and shorter lengths of string.

We used 40-foot lengths of yarn for our room, which was a small play room. The length was great, the material was not. The yarn frayed and became tangled very easily. Next time, I’m thinking we will use clothesline.

We had a lot of fun with this game. There was a lot of setup time compared to the actual amount of play. However, most of the setup was fun: the kids enjoyed creating their patterns and seeing the web take shape. Once we decide on the best rope material, we will be able to have a set of strings available for whenever we want to play, so the setup time will be much lower.

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