The Best Hand Clapping Games for Kids {+video and printable} (2022)

Looking for those hand clapping games you used to play as a child? This list has them all!

Awesome hand clap games to teach your children, students or camp attendees. 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!

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Benefits of Hand Clapping Games

What's Inside:

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.

A few benefits of playing hand clap games and rhymes include:

  • Improved cognitive skills including spelling and handwriting
  • Increased coordination
  • Crossing midline (which is important in developing a dominant side of the body)
  • Memory
  • Rhythm
  • Sequencing (the ability to recall the order in which things happen)
  • Social Skills
  • Emotional regulation
  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Self confidence

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.

So grab a child or friend and start playing!

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The Magic of Hand Clap Song and Rhymes

Can you remember what you ate for lunch last Tuesday?

No….I didn’t think so.

But can you remember the hand clap games that you played as a child?

Yep, thought so!

I am serious – hand clapping songs and rhymes ARE magic.

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.

You don’t need any supplies or equipment.

Just your hands and a friend – the stuff childhood is made of!

Hand clapping games are perfect to keep kids occupied while:

-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.

Infact, research shows that:


Young children who play hand-clapping games are better spellers, have neater handwriting, and better overall writing skills.

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!

You can find the printable list of all the lyrics at the bottom of this post!

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Tic-Tac-Toe Hand Clap

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Tic Tac Toe

Tic tac toe, give me an x give me anO.

Three times around the world

Rock Paper Scissors shoot

Rock beats scissors

Paper beats rock

Scissors beats paper

I win you loose

Now you get a big fat bruise

(and give them a touch with your pinky)

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Down Down Baby

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Down Down Baby

Down, down, baby

Down, down the roller coaster

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

Shimmy, Shimmy cocoa pop

Shimmy, Shimmy pow

Shimmy, Shimmy cocoa pop

Shimmy, Shimmy pow!

I like coffee, I like tea,

I like another boyand he likes me

Up and down and side to side

All around and shake it little ride

P-O-P spells POP!

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Lemonade

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Lemonade, Iced Tea

Lemonade (clap, clap, clap)

Crunchy ice (clap, clap, clap)

Sip it once (clap, clap, clap)

Sip it twice (clap, clap, clap)

Turn around (turn around)

Touch the ground (touch the ground)

Kick your brother out of town! And stomp!

Apple on a Stick

Apple on a Stick

Apple on a stick,

Makes me sick,

Makes my heart beat 2-fourty six

Not because you’re dirty,

Not because you’re clean

Just because you kissed a boy behind the magazine

Girls, girls, wanna have some fun?

Here comes Suzy with her hoop skirt on

She can wibbleShe can wobbleShe can do the splits

But I betcha ten dollarsShe can’t do this;

Close your eyes and count to tenIf you miss you start again1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10…

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Sally Was A Baby Hand Clapping Game

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Sally was a Baby

Sally was a baby, a baby, a baby,

Sally was a baby, she went like this: Wah wah!

Sally was a toddler, a toddler, a toddler,

Sally was a toddler, she went like this: Wah Wah! Suck My Thumb!

Sally was a child, a child, a child,

Sally was a child, she went like this: Wah Wah! Suck my Thumb! Give me a piece of chewing gum!

Sally was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager

Sally was a teenager, she went like this: Wah Wah! Suck my Thumb! Give me a piece of chewing gum! Hush UP I’m on the phone!

Sally was a mother, a mother, a mother,

Sally was a mother, she went like this: Wah Wah! Suck my Thumb! Give me a piece of chewing gum! HUSH UP I’m on the phone! Do this, do that!

Sally was a grandmother, a grandmother, a grandmother,

Sally was a grandmother, she went like this: Wah Wah! Suck my Thumb! Give me a piece of chewing gum! Hush up I’m on the phone! Do this, do that! Oh! My aching back!

Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack

All dressed in black, black, black

With silver buttons, buttons, buttons

All down her back, back, back

She asked her mother, mother, mother

For 50 cents, cents, cents

To see the elephants, elephants, elephants

Jump over the fence, fence, fence.

They jumped so high, high, high

They reached the sky, sky, sky

And they didn’t come back, back, back

‘Til the 4th of July, ly, ly!

Pat-A-Cake

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man

Bake me a cake as fast as you can

Pat it and roll it and mark it with a B

And put it in the oven for baby and me

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A Sailor Went to Sea - Hand Clap Warm Up Song

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

A Sailor Went to Sea

A sailor went to sea, sea, sea,

To see what he could see, see, see

.But all that he could see, see, see

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea, sea, sea.

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DOUBLE DOUBLE THIS THAT - HAND CLAPPING GAMES

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Double Double This This

Double double this this,

Double double that that,

Double this, double that,

Double double this that.

Lemonade, Crunchy Ice

Lemonade, Crunchy ice

Beat it once

Beat it twice

Turn around (Turn around)

Touch the ground (Touch the ground)

Kick your boyfriend out of town!

Freeze! Defrost! Tell your boyfriend to get lost.

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Miss Susie had a Steamboat (Rated PG)

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Miss Susie had a steamboat

The steamboat had a bell

Miss Susie went to heaven

The steamboat went to

Hello operator please give me number nine

And if you disconnect meI’ll kick you from behind

The refrigerator there was a piece of glass

Miss Susie sat upon it and cut her little

Ask me no more questions

Tell me no more lies

The boys are in the bathroom zipping up their

Flies are in the meadow,the bees are in the park

Miss Susie and her boyfriend are kissing in the

Dark is like a moviea movie’s like a show

A show is like a tv screen and that is allI know

I know my ma, I know my pa,I know my sister with the 80 acre alligator bra

Pease Porridge Hot

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold,

Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old;

Some like it hot, some like it cold,

Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

Say Say Oh Playmate

Say Say Oh Playmate

Say, Say, oh playmate,

Come out and play with me

And bring your dollies three

Climb up my apple tree

Slide down my rain barrel

Into my cellar door

And we’ll be jolly friends

Forever more, more, more.

So sorry, playmate

I cannot play with you

My dolly’s got the flu

Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo

Ain’t got no rain barrel

Ain’t got no cellar door

But we’ll be jolly friends

Forever more, more, more.

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Hand Clapping Game "Bim Bum"

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

This one is fun and super challenging, even for older kids!

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Hand Clapping Game "Sevens"

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Another fun and challenge hand-clapping pattern.

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Concentration

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

Concentration (clap, clap, clap)

Sixty-four (clap, clap, clap)

No repeats (clap, clap, clap)

Or hesitations (clap, clap, clap)

I’ll go first(clap, clap, clap)

You’ll go last (clap, clap, clap)

Category is: Leader States Category ie: Vegetables (clap, clap, clap)

Each player must then say the name of an item that matches the category without messing up the rhythm.

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Down by the Banks of the Hanky Panky

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

There are many different versions, but here is a common rendition:

Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky,

Where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky,

With a hip, hop, hippity, hop,

Leap off a lily pad and go KERPLOP!

Down by the banks of the Hanky Panky,

Where the bull frogs jump from bank to banky,

With a flip, flop, flippity, flop,Leap off a lily pad and go KERPLOP!

Down by the banks of the hanky panky

Where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky

With an eep, ipe, ope, op,Eek-ock-a-diddly and go KERPLOP!

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Rockin Robin Hand Clap Challenge

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

This one is an absolute blast! See if your group can keep the rhythm for the entire song!

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!

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Clap Clap song

Photo Credit:www.youtube.com

This one is great for a class, youth group or preschool.

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.

All they really want is our time and attention.

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

  • The Ultimate List of Jump Rope Songs for Kids
  • Good Clean Shows to Watch on Netflix as a Family
  • How to Make Friendship Bracelets
  • 30 Super Fun Games to Play on the Trampoline

How do you play hand clap games?

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.

Where did hand clapping games originate?

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.

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

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Did I miss your favorite? Be sure to include it in the comments below!

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Lauren @ Simply-Well-Balanced

Hi, I'm Lauren Tingley; a working, teacher-mom of two who tried to "do it all" and ended up losing myself in the process. Determined to find joy in modern motherhood I discovered simplifying was the answer. Now I share tips for fun family activities, minimalist homemaking and simple parenting advice on Simply Well Balanced for families looking to create more balance in their homes. My ideas and advice has been shared by Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping and Women's First.Read more about me! Or follow me on Pinterest or Instagram

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