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15 Fun Hand-Clapping Games to Keep Kids Entertained on the Playground

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Playgrounds are an essential part of childhood. They offer children an opportunity to socialise, exercise, and develop physical skills. However, after a while, running around and playing on the equipment can get old, and kids need something new to occupy their time. That’s where hand-clapping games come in!

Hand-clapping games are a fun and simple way to keep children entertained on the Playground. They can be played with two or more players and require no equipment, making them a perfect activity for kids to enjoy during their break. Here are 15 easy hand-clapping games kids of all ages will enjoy playing.

This is a classic hand-clapping game that is perfect for all ages. It involves clapping and a simple rhyme.

Hand-clapping games are a fun and easy way to keep children entertained on the Playground. Whether during break or after school, these 15 hand-clapping games will keep kids of all ages engaged and having fun. So, next time you’re on the Playground, try out one of these games and see how much fun you can have!

Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack is one of the most popular hand-clapping games for kids. Players stand in a circle and clap their hands as they chant: “Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack, All dressed in black, black, black….” Each player adds a verse to the game by choosing another colour or item of clothing, such as “All dressed in blue shoes, shoes, shoes” At the end of each round, the song ends with “Oh, she looks so fine! Fine. Fine”

Lemonade, Crunchy Ice

This game is also played in a circle, with the players clapping their hands and repeating the phrase “Lemonade crunchy ice, apple pie.” During each round, one player adds an item (ex: “strawberry shortcake”) to the end of the phrase, and everyone must recite all things from that list before starting over again.


In this game, two players stand facing each other and clap their hands as they chant: “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man. Bake me a cake as fast as you can!” As the chant continues, the players clap alternate palms in sync with the words. At the end of each round, they cross their arms and slap their palms three times to finish the game.

Miss Susie

Miss Susie is a hand-clapping game for two players. First, players clap their hands as they chant the words to the song: “Miss Susie had a steamboat, steamboat, steamboat; Miss Susie had a steamboat, the itsy bitsy one.” Then, during each round, players alternate saying different parts of the verse, such as “the mighty, mighty one” or “the itsy bitsiest one yet!”

Pease Porridge Hot

This classic game is played in a circle and requires two players. They clap their hands while reciting the phrase “Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold; Pease porridge in the pot nine days old.” On the final word of each verse (nine days old), everyone changes direction by clapping their hands to the next player on either side. At any point during the game, one player can call out “Switch!” indicating that everyone has to switch directions without warning.

Bubblegum, Bubblegum

Bubblegum, Bubblegum is another hand-clapping game that two players can enjoy. First, players stand in a circle and chant the words: “Bubblegum, bubblegum; In the dish; How many pieces do you wish?” Next, each player can choose how many pieces of bubble gum they would like — from one to 10. Finally, the last person has to guess the number of pieces the players have chosen before clapping their hands three times and ending the game.

See, See My Playmate

See, See My Playmate is best played with three or more players. First, players stand in a circle and hold hands as they sing the song: “See, see my playmate; Come out to play with me; And bring your dollies, three; Climb up my apple tree!” Each player then adds to the end of the verse by saying two different items for dolls to bring (ex: “Swing and chair”) before clapping their hands together three times and finishing the game.


Chopsticks is another popular hand-clapping game that can be played with two or more players. Each player stands in a circle and claps their hands in sync as they chant the words: “Chopsticks, chopsticks; All around; One, two, three, four; Then we put them down!” At any point during the chant, one of the players can call out “Switch” to change direction without warning.

Down, Down Baby

This classic game requires two players who stand opposite each other and clap their hands for the chant: “Down, down, baby. Throw it on the ground….” As they recite the words, both players will use their fingers to “throw” an imaginary item from one to the other. After each round is complete, the same player starts again by saying, “Catch me now!”

A Sailor Went to Sea

This game requires all players to stand in a circle and clap their hands as they say, “A sailor went to sea, sea, sea. To see what he could see, see, see.” As the chant continues, one player will add an item from the ocean, such as “a codfish swimming by”, while they keep clapping and chanting in time with each other. The game can continue with more items being added until someone messes up or it’s time to move on to something else.

Queenie, Queenie

This game is similar to Miss Mary Mack, but instead of saying “Miss Mary Mack”, players say: “Queenie, Queenie, All dressed in green….” As they continue to chant and clap their hands, each player can add an item of clothing or colour until everyone in the circle has added their contribution. The song ends with, “Oh, she looks so fine! Fine. Fine. Let’s do it again!”

Double, Double This, This

This game requires two players to stand facing each other and tap their hands on their knees as they chant: “Double, double this, this. Double, double that, that….” As the song progresses, each player claps their hands together twice after saying an item, such as “Double this sock and double that hat.” At the end of each round, both players high-five before starting again.

Sugar, Sugar

For this game, two players stand facing each other and alternate, clapping their hands while they chant: “Sugar, Sugar on the ground. Who’s going to pick it up? Not me! Not you!” They keep going by saying, “Santa Claus, Santa Claus. Pick it up with his white gloves….” At the end of every round, one player runs around to try and catch their partner as they chant something different such as “pick it up with his big feet.”

Cupid Shuffle

This game requires two players to stand facing each other and clap their hands in time to the rhythm as they chant: “Cupid, shuffle, right and left. Keep on going all around the town.” Then one player will add a direction (e.g., forward) while holding their palms towards their partner, who must adjust their stance accordingly. The game ends with both players pointing at each other before starting again.

Teddy Bear

This game is a two-player clapping game with players facing each other. As they chant: “Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear turn around…” one player will move their hands in a circular motion until they reach their partner’s opposite side, clasp their palms together and the round ends. The game can continue by adding new verses such as “Teddy bear, teddy bears touch the ground….”

Why Hand Clapping Games are a Great Playground Activity

Hand-clapping games have been around for generations, and for a good reason! They offer numerous benefits to children of all ages, including:

Promoting social interaction

Hand-clapping games involve two or more players, providing an excellent opportunity for children to practise social interaction. These activities encourage children to cooperate, communicate and work together to have fun!

Encouraging creativity

When playing hand-clapping games, kids often develop new variations on existing songs or create entirely original ones. This encourages them to be creative and teaches them about music composition in a fun way!

Building self-confidence

These games are all about doing something challenging together and succeeding! Watching others complete the rhythms gives beginners newfound confidence, while mastering the moves gives advanced players pride in their achievement. No one gets too frustrated because everyone is learning and having fun simultaneously!

Improving physical skills and hand-eye coordination

Moving to a beat and coordinating hand claps with another person improves fine motor skills and helps kids understand the relationship between their body movements and music. They also build eye-hand coordination as they catch someone else’s rhythm!


Hand-clapping games are great for playground activities because no equipment is needed, and kids of any age can quickly join in. It also encourages teamwork, helps build confidence, fosters creativity, and strengthens physical and cognitive skills!

Hand-clapping games are a great playground activity for all ages! They can help build social and physical skills and provide plenty of opportunities for creativity. In addition, they don’t require any equipment, making them a hassle-free playtime activity that kids can enjoy anywhere. So why not give them a try today?

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