If you’re looking for fun games for groups of kids, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand clapping games! Who would have thought that hand clapping games could address so many different developmental skills at once?
Bilateral coordination, memory and cognitive skills, and cooperative play are all packed into these fun songs and games – and they’ll also take you for a little stroll down memory lane!
We thought this post was the perfect fit for our Backyard Activities for Kids series!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Free hand clapping games printable
WHAT TO DO:
Here are just a few hand clapping games that are simple enough for a wide age range. Have your kids take a peek at these videos and use our hand clapping games printable as a cheat sheet to remember the words to all of the songs! The games shown below are all on the printable, plus a few extras!
LEMONADE CRUNCHY ICE
LEMONADE CRUNCHY ICE #2
I loved this variation because it shows a very young child enjoying the activity even though she doesn’t quite have the movements down. It just goes to show how kids can learn to work together regardless of age or ability!
SAY, SAY OH PLAYMATE
PAT A CAKE
MISS MARY MACK
SKILL AREAS ADDRESSED: Bilateral coordination, cognitive skills, midline crossing, motor control, posture, social skills
If you like hand clapping games, check out these great hand games for motor skills and cognitive skills and these simple finger games for kids!
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Donna LaFitte says
Want to join your mailing list.
Im only 16 but I remember in grade school we played the hands free game called “consentayson” or some people called it “this game “
I don’t know this one Elizabeth! Thanks for sharing. How do you play it???
I’m wondering if these will help my piano students that struggle with understanding the concept of steady beat.
I remember as a kid playing “Welcome to McDonald’s/ May I take your order/ Big Mac, small fry, cherry Coke, apple pie.”
I don’t remember all the actions, though :-(
Also one my mom taught me (so it was probably from the 60’s) – “Have you ever ever ever in your long-legged life seen a long-legged sailor with his long legged wife?/ No, I have never, ever, ever in my long-legged…[etc.]”
JD @ Honest Mom says
This is great!
Do you remember “down by the banks of the hanky panky, where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky”?
I loved that one! :-)
Great one JD!!!!! Thanks for sharing!
The Educational Tourist says
What a wonderful post! Thank you for the refresher for moms and the wonderful directions and lyrics!
These will keep kids busy and happy while waiting in long lines outside of museums and even on long road trips! I’m going to link on my website http://www.theeducationaltourist.com where I write about traveling with the kids. I would love a shout out from you!
Thanks for posting,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist
Hi Natalie…We checked out your site and it looks like you have collected a lot of great ideas for traveling with kids. We would love for you to link to our Hand Clapping Games! Please let us know when it publishes and we will share it on our social media! Thanks for touching base!
Julianne Nielsen says
I love hand clapping games. I would like to see the clapping motions for the rest as I am only familiar with one of them. Also, on the printout, the Lemonade is missing a line at the end. Something with their foot or leg. Thanks for posting these. I will definitely teach these to my 3 granddaughters.
Hi Julianne….Thanks for the catch on the Lemonade Clapping Game. The girls say “turn around, touch the ground, kick your boyfriend out of town…FREEZE!” We did add extra games on the printable. Unfortunately, we had to limit the number of videos that we published. You may be able to find them on YouTube.com by typing their titles in the search box. Thanks again for the comment and enjoy that time with your granddaughters!
Lisa Ware says
Loved singing and clapping games as a child! Wish more children still were so knowledgeable on many rhymes. I’m a Girl Guide leader now (go figure) and work with young families in early literacy as well. Rhyming and singing, finger plays and dancing, so crucial! Thanks for sharing! Last summer we put out a hopscotch with painters tape on a boardwalk, so many adults stopped to show their children how it works and left smiling as they recalled their childhood!
Lisa…thank you for your comment and you are right, sometimes the simplest games are the best for developmental benefits and are the ones that we all forget to show our children!
Kim Roc says
Thank you. /The sequential and musical aspects of these hand games, make motor control and story telling, a supporting and useful tool, while learning to build linguistic rhythm and cadences found inside your voice. Love your post.
maria carnicero says
Me gustó mucho. :) I love it.
Linda Beardsley says
how about “pretty little dutch girl”? that was from during the 50’s/60’s era. it was the main hand clapping game then.
Hi Linda…thanks for your comment and reminding us of another great clapping game!!
Lisa Trentham says
http://funclapping.com/ I found this handy link ☺️Enjoy
My girls still play these. Their favorite is “let’s play( clap, clap clap) concentration. ” I think it’s funny that these seem to be primarily ” girl games”. My boys and dh roll their eyes at us when we get started.
Aspen Jay says
I remember spending hours upon hours practicing my hand clapping game skills. (o: Thanks for sharing this post, I am excited to teach my children and learn the news ones that I don’t know.
These are fantastic, I grew up only knowing handful and Stella Ella Ola was a favourite. The downloadable pdf is such a great cheat sheet. However discovering the Chinese Restaurant clapping rhyme was a bit offensive – the one you featured is pretty innocent but upon Googling the original version, I can’t believe people are still doing this one! Many versions complete with the gesture of pulling the sides of the eyes into a long slit (aka Asian eyes). There are so many fun clapping games, I really believe we should remove this one out of circulation.
Phonic Song says
grt games that kids would really love…
How about the one called my mother your mother. Lived accross the street, 1814 alligator street
What about: My boyfriend’s name is Michael.
He drives a motorcycle,
with a pickle on his nose and 48 toes
and that’s the way my story goes.
One night when I was walking,
I heard my boyfriend talking
to a pretty little girl with pretty little curls
and this is what he said to her.
“I l-o-v-e love you and I k-i-s-s kiss you.
In the d-a-r-k dark p-a-r-k park!
As I’m writing this, maybe not child appropriate, but I grew up with it. I don’t know if there is anymore.
How about “Do you know how to eat an Oreo?”
I can play video games all the week without the recreation, and then just forget about my PC for a month. My love for gaming depends on my mood 😀Nintendo Switch Accessories