Clapping games

Game of the week:

Clapping games are such a well known traditional playground game but in fact these are so much more than that. They are a type of physical play that helps deeply meet a child’s need for connection and helps them feel loved and accepted. And can help them be more co-operative, helpful and find it easier to listen to us when we need them to.  

My 3 year old loves playing pat a cake. It’s such a simple little rhyme us here in the UK know very well, and is associated with learning, but the value behind the game is worth remembering when things are getting difficult with your baby or toddler. Or to remember to play as a preventative. 

My 6 year old loves learning different rhymes and combinations and especially loves it if the rhymes are a bit rude. 

I find it quite hard to remember the rhymes but I’m determined to get better at it as we have such a fun time with loads of laughter when we play it. It’s also a great way to access your playful side if you enjoyed clapping games as a child. I also wonder whether the repetition and rhythm can also have a calming affect and help children feel more regulated on a somatic level. (from a somatic fanatic)

My daughter also turned our clapping game into a contingency game this week, where her behaviour impacts mine. She wanted to clap out a rhyme and I had to copy it. She loved making it really difficult for me! She just laughed and laughed throughout it. (Always a sign that the play is on the right track) Contingency play is a type of power reversal game.  The important thing to remember about power in play is that when our children feel powerful in their play and are less powerful it actually helps them at others time to be co-operative (strange but true)

I’ve popped a couple of links below for you to have a go at at home. (Some are repeated) Do share if you have any too.

We will be playing some clapping games at my Connection through play workshop on the 4th May:) Hope to see you there.

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