Games hand: 10 Classic hand-clapping games to teach your kid

Опубликовано: September 20, 2023 в 9:24 am


Категории: Game

10 Classic hand-clapping games to teach your kid

Photo: iStockPhoto

In a culture where it’s normal to pack your kid’s backpack with earphones and an iPad, it may seem like forever ago that hand-clapping games ruled the schoolyard.

But if you’re an old-fashioned soul wanting to pass down the skill of hand-eye coordination to your kid, look no further! Here are some classic hand-clapping games that will surely get them hooked.

1. Patty Cake

“Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can.” Patty Cake is the most classic and simple clapping game out there. Played with two people, hands are clapped in the standard criss-cross motion. Then you roll your dough, pat it and mark it with a B (for baby). It’s a game that can be played with the youngest of tots.

2. Miss Mary Mack

Learn how to play:



Much like the cup game, Sevens puts your rhythmic skills to the test. There are a few rhythm patterns within this game. Once you’ve started, the following player must match your rhythm as you move onto the next one. The tricky part is keeping in sync with the others in the game.

5. Rockin’ Robin

An ode to Bobby Day’s 1958 hit song by the same name, Rockin’ Robin can be played with two to four people. The rules of the game vary in accordance with the number of people that join in. However, it’s best played with four people so you can clap over and under (as demonstrated in the video).

6. Tick-Tack-Toe

There are no real rules to this game; it’s simply a bunch of hand movements done for fun! (This one totally reminds us of that scene in The Parent Trap when Annie (Lindsay Lohan) is saying goodbye to her butler, Martin. )

7. Concentration 64

Without repeating or hesitating, players must think of a name or word that relates to a chosen category. There’s no real meaning to the number 64 within the game, but it might be a good challenge to see if you can list off 64 words without breaking concentration.

8. Slide

This game is all about keeping count while keeping your cool. Slide can get pretty intense as your claps increase in number. Try this game with your kid and see how far you get!

9. Say, Say Oh Playmate

Let this song take you back to those sunny days with sidewalk chalk, ice cream and your schoolyard bff. Its innocent lyrics encompass the essence of childhood friendship and it’s an easy clapping rhythm to learn, too. (Note: This one is also known as “Cee Cee My Playmate,” and there are versions where the lyrics aren’t quite so innocent.)

10. Stella Ella Ola

The precise lyrics to Stella Ella Ola are hotly debated (“clap clap clap” or “quack quack quack,” for example). What we do know for sure is that it’s a fun and easy game that can be played in a large group.

Here are some suggested lyrics (that will almost certainly conflict at least slightly with your memory), courtesy of the YouTube video above:

Stella Ella Ola clap clap clap
singing es Tiga Tiga, Tiga Tiga Shack Shack
Es Tiga Tiga, Baloa Baloa, Baloa Lo-a-Lo
1 2 3 4 5

This article was originally published on Sep 08, 2020

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29 Classic Hand Clapping Games for Kids (+Videos and Printable Lyrics)

Looking for those hand clapping games you used to play as a child? This list has them all! These hand-clapping rhymes and songs are fun for kids of all ages, from simple rhymes like Pat-A-Cake to more advanced rhymes and clapping techniques.  

These hand clap games are perfect to teach your children, students, or camp attendees. And the best part is, once you teach them, they can entertain themselves for hours – and teach their friends too!

I included videos to make learning quick and easy…and you can grab the free printable with the lyrics to all the hand-clapping songs too!

The act of singing a song and clapping your hands may not seem like it would do much, but there is actually quite of bit of evidence that hand clapping, singing and following a particular rhythm or beat actually has tremendous benefits.

And these benefits are not just for children. In the same study that showed the cognitive advantages that hand clap rhymes gave to children they saw similar results in adults.

I have experienced them as a child, a mother and a school teacher and there is just something about clapping games that transcend time, age, gender (I promise you…boys like them too) and cultures.

-Standing in line
-Riding in the backseat of the car
-Waiting for a performance or movie to start in a theater

These simple songs and rhymes also help to teach rhythm, counting, rhyming and hand-eye coordination.

They are also great ice breakers for events with kids because they get people working together right away.

I don’t think any parent, teacher or camp counselor can ever have too many hand clapping games in their repertoire – so if you want a simple, free and fun game to play keep reading!


Grandma Grandma Sick in Bed

Grandma Grandma, Sick in Bed

Down down baby, down by the roller coaster 

Sweet, sweet baby, I’ll never let you go, 

Shimmy, shimmy cocoa pops, Shimmy shimmy pow! 

Shimmy, shimmy cocoa pops, Shimmy shimmy pow! 

Grandma  grandma, sick in bed, Called the doctor and the doctor said; 

Let’s get the rhythm of the head – ding dong! 

Let’s get the rhythm of the head – ding dong! 

Let’s get the rhythm of the hands – clap, clap! 

Let’s get the rhythm of the hands – clap, clap! 

Let’s get the rhythm of the feet – stomp, stomp!

 Let’s get the rhythm of the feet – stomp, stomp!

 Let’s get the rhythm of the – hot dog 

Let’s get the rhythm of the – hot dog! 

Put it all together and what do you get? 

Ding dong, clap clap, stomp stomp, hot dog! Put it all backward and what do you get? Hot dog, stomp stomp, clap clap, ding dong!

Creating this list was so much fun! It brought back so many memories from childhood.

It also reminded me how important the “simple things” are to our kids. You don’t need over the top events and activities to have fun with your children.

If you are looking for more ways to connect and have fun as a family be sure to check out these posts too:

Most hand clapping games are played with a partner. You either sit or stand facing each other. You then clap a particular rhythm or pattern with your partner as you sing a song. Many hand clap games end when the song ends, but there are others that keep going until one of the players makes a mistake. Each clapping game has different rules and directions, but those are the basic steps for most of them.

While there are records of particular hand clap games including Pat-A-Cake being played in Europe as early as the 1600’s my guess is that hand clapping games have been around a lot longer than that. You can also be sure that other cultures and tribes around the world who are known for their rhythmic clapping and dancing also participated in hand clapping games for thousands of years.

Sometimes the two are used interchangeably and sometimes they’re the same – but not always. Clapping games focus on fine motor skills like hand-eye coordination and bilateral coordination. While there is often a rhyme that accompanies the movements and sometimes even a song, the focus is on the clapping. With singing games, while there may be hand movements to accompany it, the focus is on the song.

Yes, clapping is a skill, not something we are naturally born knowing how to do. Clapping requires fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. That’s why playing these hand clapping games can be so great for kids and why we often teach babies and toddlers Pat-A-Cake. Though it’s fun, it’s actually a way to improve their fine motor skills!

There you have it! The best list of hand clap games from the 80’s, 90’s and even earlier.


Getting ready for school. Mathematics. Children’s educational game “Herringbone”

In New Year holidays both children and parents are at home, so let’s spend these days with benefit! Today I want to share with you educational game for children aged 3 and over .

At school, at lessons 😉 or breaks, my friends and I at one time were fond of the game “Hand”. Two people participate in the game, their palm is circled, numbers from 1 to 100 are written inside the contour. Then we exchange playing fields. The players take turns calling a number, while one is looking for a given number on his playing field, the other writes zeros in an empty space. The goal of the game was to be the first to fill in the sheet with zeros around the contour of the palm. For the game “Hand” they used a sheet in a cage, zeros were drawn in lines, no larger than one cell. Oh, how many notebooks we have torn apart for this game ….

Having slightly adapted the game for children, plus New Year’s holidays, we got board educational game “Herringbone” . What does this board game develop? During the game, children repeat and memorize numbers, develop attention and fine motor skills, learn to write the numbers . For this game, you can use any image, such as a mushroom with numbers and raindrops.

Look at other articles on the topic of learning numbers and numbers:
  • Learning to count
  • We sew toys that develop fine motor skills of hands. Soft digits
  • Educational game “Geometrician” – do-it-yourself math tablet

How to play the children’s educational game “Herringbone”?

1. Print out the playing field for two players. DOWNLOAD the playing field for the game “Herringbone”.

2. Each participant writes numbers from 1 to 10 (and more, depending on the level of knowledge of both players) in empty circles on his playing field (chaotically).

3. We exchange playing fields.

4. Choose a driver. He paints over any unpainted circle with a number, calls this number out loud and immediately begins to draw snowflakes around the Christmas tree. The second player looks for this number on his field, paints it over and says “stop”, after which the first player stops drawing snowflakes.

5. Now the second player becomes the driver. And so on.
6. The game ends when all numbers are filled. The player who drew the most snowflakes wins, he “lights” the star on the Christmas tree. It is necessary to agree in advance on the appearance of the snowflake, we have four intersecting sticks (if fewer sticks are drawn, then such a snowflake does not count).

You can complicate the game a little by writing the numbers in different colors, it is more difficult to find the right one, colorful colors are distracting.

Playing games with children, we learn to rejoice in each other’s victories and accept defeats with dignity. The developing game “Herringbone” was enjoyed by both adults and children. And I received an order from my daughter to print playing fields for a kindergarten, she will teach the guys in a group.

Did you like it? Share with friends!

Tags: for schoolchildren, tree, game, developing exercises, learn numbers, learn to count

4, 01, 2015

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Board games on paper and others for two and company

Author Pisareva Svetlana Reading 5 min Published


  1. Games on a sheet of paper for two
  2. Game “Points”
  3. Sea battle
  4. Game “Hands”
  5. The game “squares”
  6. The game “Burime”
  7. The modern version of board games

It is probably stupid to remember our childhood in the era of computer technology. And then, just look, the children will ask “Mom, have you also seen dinosaurs?” … However, many modern parents with a touch of sadness remember how they played hopscotch with friends in the yard, built whole strategies when playing dots, went to naval battle on plain sheets of paper. It is especially sad to remember all this when you see how your child does not want to tear himself away from the computer monitor, tablet or phone.

In fact, modern children, at least if we talk about children aged 6-7-8, are not averse to playing interesting games. You just need to take the monitors away from them and offer something exciting in return. But there are a huge number of board games for which you do not need to buy anything! It’s just that some of them were forgotten by their parents, and what can we say about children who don’t know them.

I propose to remember the board games for children that you can play and have fun – the same games that we once played with you.

Games on a sheet of paper for two

Game “dots”

Game for two. You need a large sheet of paper in a box and two pencils or pens of different colors. The rules are simple: Each player in turn puts a point – you need to put at the intersection of the lines. The task is to surround the opponent’s points with your points so that you can form a continuous line and connect it.

At the same time, you must carefully monitor so as not to be surrounded by enemy points yourself.

The game starts from the middle of the field. The one who captures more enemy points wins.

Naval battle

Probably this game should not be reminded to anyone. Game for two. Each on his sheet draws two fields of 10×10 cells. Letters are at the top, numbers are at the left. On one field they draw their ships (they can only have the shape of rectangles).

On the second, hits and misses are noted when shooting at the enemy.

The field must have:

  • 1 four-deck ship (4 squares)
  • 2 three-deck
  • 3 double-deck
  • 4 single deck

The ships must not touch each other even at the corners.

The first player makes a move and names the coordinates of the cell he is shooting at. For example: “A-1”. The second player checks if there is a ship on this square. If there is, he says: “killed” (if the ship is completely hit) or “wounded” (if part of it is hit), or “by”. In case of a hit, a second move is made until the first miss. After that, the right to move passes to the enemy.

The first one to destroy the enemy fleet wins.

Hands game

On two separate sheets, draw two hands of the same size. On the palms (each on his own) they write randomly the numbers up to the agreed number. After that, the first player calls the number, the second begins to look for it on his palm.

While the second one is searching, the first one quickly draws crosses on a place free from the palm of his sheet. The first person to fill the empty space on their sheet wins.

The game “squares”

Take a sheet of paper in a box – you need a size of 3 * 3 or 9×9, etc. squares, and two pens of different colors. Each player takes turns drawing a line one cell long.

The player’s task is to close the square. If you closed the square with your line, put your cross in it. A closed square gives the right to repeat the move, and so on until the line you set is “out of work” and closes the square. Then the right to move passes to the next player.

The winner is the one who closes more squares and puts more of his crosses.

Burime game

An opportunity to have fun and laugh heartily. A list of questions for writing a story is compiled. As a rule, they take classic questions:

  • who was it?
  • What did it look like?
  • Where did you go?
  • Whom did you meet?
  • What was he told?
  • What did he say?
  • What happened next?
  • How did it all end?
  • What is the moral of the story?

And now we take a sheet of paper and the first player writes the answer to the first question on top, folds it over and passes it to the second player. He writes the answer to the second question, bends – passes on. And so on until the end. And then we unfold and read!

Modern version of board games

Mikado – you can buy or you can just make it yourself. Long wooden sticks are available at any hardware store – just paint them in several colors so that there are the same number of sticks of each color. It is not necessary to color the entire stick – just apply this color to part of it. The sticks can, as in the real Mikado, be connected with a ring and pulled out one at a time so that the structure does not fall apart. Or you can just randomly dump them in a heap and, similarly, pull them out one at a time so that the rest do not move. Each color has its own number of points. Whoever scores the most points wins. Or you can simply by the number of sticks – whoever draws more pieces – he won.

Erudite – today you can buy it in the store, but you can also play on paper! We just write some big word in the cells, and the players take turns starting to compose words that should include a part or at least a letter from those already available.