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 classics 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.
Sometimes the lyrics in kids’ hand-clapping games make very little sense. Case in point: Miss Mary Mack. It raises questions such as “Who is this Miss Mary Mack, exactly?” and “Why does it only cost her 50 cents to go to the zoo?”
Regardless, this clap game encompasses the basic skill learned in Patty Cake, but adds in two other elements.
3. The Cup Game
Before there was Anna Kendrick’s song “Cups,” there was the cup game. It includes the same rhythm that Kendrick sings over, but is a competitive game played in a group.
Each person plays the rhythm and passes down the cup to the next player. If you lose the rhythm at your turn, you’re out!
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).