This is a fun little activity which always ends up with the children in my class having a good time with each other and laughing over mistakes.
Very simply, you teach the children a clapping game they can play in pairs, which you model with one pupil first of all.
The steps to follow are:
Clap clap, this this,
Clap clap, that that,
Clap this, clap that,
Clap this that!
On the word ‘clap’ you clap both of your hands together.
On the word ‘this’ you clap the palms of your hands with your partner’s hands.
On ‘that’ you have to touch the backs of your hands with your partner’s.
It’s well worth modelling to your class that if you mess things up or go to fast, you just laugh and start again. You don’t get angry. Messing it up is half the fun!
After first teaching this game to my class in about fifteen minutes, I now throw it in if we have a spare minute or two, particularly if I feel they need to blow off a little steam or if they need to get on with one another and have a laugh.
When your children have really mastered this game, challenge them to invent their own new rhyme patterns.
Within a week of teaching this clapping game, some of my children independently figured out that you can do this game with bigger groups and not just in pairs. I had a group of 4 perfectly do the steps needed, clapping hands with the people on either side of them! Now that takes some serious coordination!
I particularly like this activity as it’s quick and no props are required, meaning it’s easy to slot in whenever I get a brief free minute. For example, if someone pops into my classroom and needs to have a quick word with me about assembly or something, I can tell my class to play this game while I speak with the other adult.