Posted: 11/12/2015 at 21:00
Ring on a String has been played at Christmas by generations of our family since the year dot ... apparently. It's a marvellous game as it can be played by a number of old and young alike and conversations can be continued during the game.
Everyone sits on seats in an approximate circle - the seats can include a sofa or two, footstools, pouffes, armchairs, dining chairs, whatever is available. The seats need to be fairly close but don't have to be touching.
The other equipment needed is a long length of string or knitting wool and a ring (wedding band/signet ring type - a curtain ring will do at a push as long as it's a proper circle and not a split one).
Thread the ring onto the string and tie the two ends in a knot so that you have a circle of string that can comfortably be held in both hands of every person in the circle (held palms down, knuckles up with the string passing through their hands - does that make sense?).
One person has to stand in the middle of the circle and shut their eyes.
One person seated in the circle has to hold the ring on the string hidden in their hand.
Everyone has to move their hands from side to side along the length of the string, pretending to pass the ring between them - and actually the ring will be passed from one person to another around the circle in either direction.
The person in the middle opens their eyes and has to tap the hand they think is holding the ring. If your hand is tapped you have to open it palm upwards, revealing the ring ... or not.
If there's a bit of a distance between two people and they can't pass the ring from hand to hand, the best technique is for the person with the ring to raise the string so that the ring slides down to the next person, while the person in the middle is looking elsewhere
Naughty uncles have been known to slip the ring onto their finger for a while, and continue to pass their hands over the string, causing confusion.
The person in the middle stays there until they have found the ring, then the person found in possession of the ring goes into the middle.
However, if the person found in possession of the ring is an elderly aunt or an inebriate and unstable uncle who ought not to be standing in a circle in case it makes them dizzy, younger relatives can be deputised to go in the middle of the circle for them.
The game can continue for hours and hours and hours. Perfect for a family Christmas