Bout à Bout Family Activity

In Bout à Bout, an ordinary piece of rope transforms into a lovable little hero who sets out on an adventure full of challenges and excitement. In these activities, work with your family to make fun string creations, bring an inanimate friend to life and have some fun with string games.

At Home

Our rope hero goes on a lot of adventures and sees a lot of interesting places and meets some interesting characters. In this activity, use your own string to create places and things.

Materials: String or yarn, worksheet, paper, writing utensil

Step One: Ask a grownup to print out the worksheet.

Step Two: Cut a few pieces of string or yarn into a variety of lengths. Your largest piece should be about the size of your forearm.

Step Three: Place the worksheets on a flat surface.

Step Four: Chose one shape and trace it with your pieces of string or yarn. Ask the following questions.

  • What does this shape remind you of?
  • What sound does this shape make?
  • Where else have you seen this shape?

Step Five: Repeat step four for each image.

Step Six: Make a simple outline of your very own. Then, add dimension by tracing it with string!

On the Way

Bout à Bout brings an inanimate object to life through creativity, imagination and puppeteering. Inanimate means something that is not alive. On your way to the New Vic, try to bring your own object to life like these New Vic staff members.

Materials: A small inanimate object of your choosing, like a penny, a hair tie, a pen, chapstick, a rubber band or string

Step One: Take out the object during your commute and have a conversation about it with your travel companions.

  • What is this item?
  • What is it used for?
  • Do you use this item at all? How often?

Step Two: Work as a team to think of a name for your item.

Step Three: Bring it to life, by answering the following:

  • If this item made a sound, what would it sound like?
  • How does this item say “hello”?
  • Show how this object might move through space.
  • What is something that this item reminds you of?
  • If it did a little dance, how would it look?
  • What would this item do if it was sad, mad or happy.
  • Show your group how the item jumps, or does a flip.

After the Show

Take a second to reflect on these questions.

  • What was your favorite part of the show and why?
  • What different things did the string turn into?
  • What were some moments where the string was happy, sad or scared?
  • Talk more about the journey the string went on. Can you think of similar adventures that you might have gone on in your life?

Now, it’s time for you to bring a piece of string to life, like these New Vic staffers.

Materials: One piece of string for every person participating.

Step One: Prep your string. Make sure each person playing along has their very own string. If you are an adult make sure your string is larger than your little’s string.

Step Two: It’s time to use the skills you practiced in the Before the Show activity! Once you have your string answer the following prompts.

  • What is your string’s name?
  • What does your string sound like when it speaks?
  • How does your string move? Does it glide? Hop? Slither?
  • Can you make your string into different shapes? Try a circle, square and triangle.

Step Three: Play some string games! In each of these games, the person with the closest birthday will go first.

Game One: Follow the String

  • The leader will make a gesture and a sound of their choosing using their string. They will show their gesture and sound twice.
  • Everyone else must mimic the string as accurately as possible.
  • Travel around the room, trying to perfect your string sounds and motion.
  • When the leader feels they are finished, they will go up to another person’s string and tap it. It’s this person’s turn to lead.

Game Two: Leap String

  • If you are first, make a shape with your string that is tall.
  • The person to your left uses their string to leaper over your string shape.
  • When their string lands, make a sound effect. This sound freezes the leaper’s string into a shape.
  • Now it’s time for the next person to jump over the previous leaper.

Game Three: Guess that String!

  • Grab your string and make a shape on a flat surface
  • The other people in your household must guess what you have created
  • As a bonus, try making shapes and objects that you can create on something that’s not a flat surface, like your arm or your computer.

And Beyond