Playground Clapping Games develop musicality and performance


I have many fond memories of primary school. Life was simple, our days were filled with new experiences taught in a way that captivated us and we all loved playtime. The freedom to run around and do what you wanted with friends lead to many games and activities such as skipping and skipping-elastic, cats-cradle, kiss-chase (although there was no worse fate than being caught and kissed!), and clapping games. 

These clapping games all involved a sing-song rhyme or chant with a pattern of clapping usually between you and your friend. My own children and their friends played variations of the same games, “Patty Cake Patty Cake” and “A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea” to name but a few but there are countless more. Clapping games have been popular for generations and despite the worries our screen-based lifestyles, they continue to be popular with youtube videos as a way of sharing these different games, they are still extremely popular today with

Julia Bishop of the British Library writes in her article about hand Clapping games… 

Musical elements, such as melody, rhythm, meter and timbre, abound in children’s play. In some cases, these help to regulate the game but are secondary to its overall goal, such as the rhythmic chanting of counting out, or the song accompanying ball-bouncing or skipping. In other cases, though, a musical performance is the aim of the game, such as a song and dance routine, or a hand-clapping game. It is this very performance aspect, with its accompanying physical, musical and verbal challenges, which makes such games appealing, and it seems that their popularity has been increasing from the mid-20th century on.

Read the full article by clicking here


All of these skills are helping develop our coordination and social interactions as we grow. It is a performance of skill, rhythm and musicality and the repetition is practicing and honing these skills.

When recording in school we usually set up before the day starts, but when the children arrive we often hear the songs of these clapping routines. Children naturally sing when together and happy and we all know the many calming and health benefits of singing together. Recording a CD together will capture your students’ talents, and could even make money for your chosen project or charity.

To find out more about recording in your school please call us on 01225 302143 or click here to email us