Hand clapping games are an ideal activity for just a couple of girls or for a dozen playmates. At home, in the playground, or in the neighbourhood, these tried-and-true chanting games don&rsquo;t require any special equipment, and girls will learn the simple motions and chants easily, keeping their minds and hands active and engaged in creative play.
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Miss Mary Mac
In this game, the rhyme is chanted, rather than sung. It requires at least two people and can be played in a circle if there are more than two people. The chant is as follows: &ldquo;Miss Mary Mac, Mac, Mac/All dressed in black, black, black/With silver buttons, buttons, buttons/All down her back, back, back/She asked her mother, mother, mother/For fifty cents, cents, cents/To see the elephant, elephant, elephant/Jump over the fence, fence, fence/He jumped so high, high, high/He reached the sky, sky, sky/And didn&rsquo;t come back, back, back/&rsquo;Til the fourth of July, ly, ly.&rdquo; During the chant, the actions are as follows: &ldquo;Miss&rdquo; (substitute the first word of each line)&mdash;cross your arms and slap your shoulders; &ldquo;Mar-&ldquo; (again, substitute for succeeding verses)&mdash;uncross your arms and slap your legs; &ldquo;-ry&rdquo; (substituting as needed)&mdash;clap your hands; &ldquo;Mac&rdquo;&mdash;clap partner&rsquo;s right hand with your right hand; pause in chant and clap your own hands; &ldquo;Mac&rdquo;&mdash;clap partner&rsquo;s left hand with your left hand; pause in chant and clap your own hands; &ldquo;Mac&rdquo;&mdash;clap both of your partner&rsquo;s hands; pause and clap your own hands. Continue these motions with the next line.
The more you play this game, the easier it will become. It challenges the players to develop and use hand and eye coordination and rhythm, as well as quick-thinking. To begin, the players should sit in a circle, crossing their legs. One person is chosen to be the leader. She starts the rhythm off by slapping her thighs with both hands, clapping her hands once, then snapping her left, then right fingers for a rhythm of: slap, clap, snap, snap. The other players follow the rhythm until everyone is in unison. Then, the leader says, &ldquo;Names of &hellip;&rdquo; and fills in the blank with a topic of her choice, such as animals. Other topics include cars, toys, countries, food, girl&#039;s names, fairy tales, etc. Going around in a circle, beginning with the leader, each player thinks of something within the chosen category and says it on the rhythmic snap-snap of the fingers. If someone misses or repeats something, they are out until the next round.
Down by the Banks
Another chant game, Down by the Banks can be played with two or more people. The players stand in a circle, hands outstretched to the sides, palms facing upward. Each should lay their hand on top of and under the players&rsquo; next to them on either side so that the circle is linked loosely. Moving around the circle to the chant, the players clap their top hand onto their left-hand player&rsquo;s top hand. The chant is as follows: &ldquo;Down by the banks of the hanky-panky, where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky, with an e-i-p-s, i-p-e-s, o-p-s, o-p-p-s, one falls in and goes and goes kerplop!&rdquo; Whoever gets their hand slapped on the &ldquo;kerplop&rdquo; is out. Continue the game until you have a winner.
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