Thursday, January 12, 2012

Music Tip - Hand Clapping Games

I love hand clapping games.  They are so fun.  Even as an adult I love them.  Of course there are more benefits than just having fun that are connected with hand clapping games. A  study conducted at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel (BGU), “has found that young children who engage in hand-clapping songs and games show an increase in the development of a range of cognitive abilities including social integration, spelling and handwriting as well as a reduction in rates of dyslexia and dyscalculia.”  

Other research  shows that rhythm and a sense of timing has an effect on our brain and body functions.  Children diagnosed with dyslexia may be deficient in their sense of timing.  Brain training using a metronome is helping children with their reading fluency and language processing.

Babies usually learn to clap by age one.  By playing and singing clapping games with your toddler you are helping him develop his eye hand coordination. Songs like Pat a Cake and If You’re Happy involve simple clapping that you can do with your child.

I’ve been teaching clapping games to my 3-6th graders at school. They are loving it.  I found some really fun routines on you tube but they looked so complicated, I wondered if I could learn them myself, so I could teach them.  But the two girls doing them on you tube, slowed the patterns down and it was surprisingly easy.  In fact, there was a trick.  You only sing 3 words and each word has a different movement.  So all you have to do is learn 3 movements, then figure out the pattern.

I pointed the pattern out to my students and even wrote it on the board.  I really believe in helping my visual learners by writing patterns on the board.  I’m a visual learner and I need to see something before I can learn it. 

Here’s the pattern of part A (do it twice)

Bim   Bum   Bim   Bum                         Bum           Bum                      Bum    Bim   Bum
(clap) (snap) (clap) (snap)
                                          Biddy biddy           Biddy          Biddy biddy
                                            (pat legs 2x)


Part B  (2xs)

Bim            Bum                         Bum           Bum                      Bum    Bim   Bum
(clap)         (snap)
                               Biddy biddy           Biddy          Biddy biddy
                             (pat legs 2x)

So go have some fun.  Do the hand clapping games with your family.  Have a contest to see who can do it the fastest.  Can you beat Dad? 
And if you want more fun, look up Boom, Snap Clap.  It's a really fun one too!

Thanks for reading,




    Here's a cup game that we used to love to play at girls' camp. I still get a kick out of hand clapping games.
    When I was working with kids and learning about toddler development I was told that hand clapping and rhythm games also improve counting and math skills.
    Thanks for another fun post!

  2. Sorry, that was Velika on the earlier comment, I'm on my hubby's computer. :)




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