Fun and games: patty cake and other clapping games
Clapping is so fun! Let’s hear it for clapping! Children and adults bringing their hands together represents happiness and excitement and joy, and there are tons of ways to incorporate it into playtime. Clapping games can help children learn coordination, cooperation with playmates, and fun new songs. The games outlined here have longer versions, but it might be best to start small and see where this crazy clapping adventure takes you from there.
Classic! Patty cake (or paddy cake or pat-a-cake) is played by clapping your hands together, then clapping your right hand to your partner’s right hand, clapping them back together, then clapping your left hand to your partner’s left hand. Repeat until you finish singing the song! There are more advanced versions available if Baby turns out to be a clapping genius.
Patty cake, patty cake, baker’s man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Pat it, roll it, and mark it with a B.
Put it in the oven for baby and me.
The fun part about this game is seeing how fast you and Baby can play it. Clap your hands together twice, then clap both your hands to both of Baby‘s hands twice, then clap your hands together twice, then clap the back of your hands to the back of Baby‘s hands. That’s the first two lines. For the second two, clap your hands together once, then to Baby‘s hands once, then together once, then to the back of Baby‘s hands once, then together twice, then once to Baby‘s hands and once to the back of their hands. It might take you a few minutes to get it right, but it’s super fun.
Double double, this this (together, together, across, across)
Double double, that that (together, together, across backwards, across backwards)
Double this, double that (together, across, together, across backwards)
Double double, this that (together, together, across, across backwards)
Down, down baby
The official clapping game to this song is just a touch too complicated for Baby right now, so it might be best to adapt this song to the clapping moves for “patty cake.” You can also make up a beat and clapping sequence of your own!
Down, down baby, down by the roller coaster.
Sweet, sweet baby, I’ll never let you go.
Eeeny, meeny, miney, mo
Catch a tiger by the toe
“Round” of applause
If you’re not in the mood to memorize, teach, and choreograph a song, a simple “round” of applause clapping game can entertain and delight all ages. Instead of a round of applause just meaning to clap your hands, use your clapping hands to trace a circle in the air. When Baby catches on, you can ask them to give you a “triangle” of applause, a “square” of applause, or a “rectangle” of applause. Look at that, you’re learning shapes and having fun!