Summer Fun Activity: Tying Knots!

When it gets too hot to stay outside, and little hands are looking for something to do, keep them busy tying knots!

Knot {sorry} only great for keeping the antsies out, but young people learn a valuable and practical skill! Knotty applications transcend all gender boundaries: fishing, crosstich, boating, macrame, hitches, sewing, and rafting, for example.

Why learn to tie knots?

Knotting will help you in endeavors you already enjoy….

It will also help you get involved in new activities….

Knotting is a useful skill in many crafts….

You will learn how to tie safer knots that won’t untie under duress.

You’ll react better if you need to tie a knot in an emergency.

You’ll find more uses for rope, like securing cargo to your bicycle….

You’ll be able to rely on cordage to make a variety of repairs.

Randy Penn, The Handy Book of Knots
  • Start where your child is.  If he or she has never before tied a knot then start with a simple overhand knot (think tying shoes).
  • Have your child carry a section of rope in his pocket.  He can practice his knot-tying skills during down times.
  • Have him explore several different types knots and understand how they are used.  This familiarity with a variety of applications will help him understand how practical his new skill is.
  • Invite him to tie the knot when an application presents itself.
  • Be sure to keep it fun!  Don’t require…inspire!

Additional Resources

Standard Shoelace Knot
We all have to start somewhere…

The Six Boy Scout Knots
Perfect for beginning knotters.

All Lower-Rank Knots
5-page merit badge download showing how to bind two objects, join a line, hitch, lash, and much more!

When to Use Knots and Lashings
More instructions.


Animated Knots
Featured site!

Learn to Tie Knots
Interactive showing a step-by-step how-to for several different knotting applications.

Wedding Knots
Tie knots with dough for a fun (but yummy) stretch!  From Martha Stewart.

The Knot Book

The Knot Book by Geoffrey Budworth
Great place to start with instructions for tying 100 (60 in our 2004 edition) common knots, including their use.

The Handy Book of Knots

The Handy Book of Knots by Randy Penn
Subtitled “Useful Knots for Every Situation, Indoors and Out,” this is a good next step for learning “the art and orderliness” of learning to tie knots.  Step-by-step instructions for tying over 100 useful knots, along with background history, useful information about ropes, experimenting with knots, and glossary.

Everything Knots Book

The Everything Book of Knots by Randy Penn
Replacement for the book above  written by the same author (sans rope). But the author is a bona fide knot expert! Highly recommended.

American Boy’s Handy Book
Chapter IX of this book features knots, bends and hitches.  Free download.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Step-By-Step Knots: 11 Basic Scout Knots
2-page printout perfect for notebook (and as a visual reminder).

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