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Clapping games for infants

Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker’s man, Bake me a cake as fast as you can …

Well, did you catch yourself singing along with this classic clapping game? It’s no wonder, because, once learned, such clapping and singing games remain in your head, no matter what age you are.

Their recipe for success probably lies in their simplicity: anyone who can speak, sing along and clap is able to join in with a clapping or singing game. There’s no need for any aids and no complicated instructions to try and understand. And the best thing is that all the happy clapping, talking and singing not only offers your child enjoyable entertainment. It’s also a way for your child to practice core skills, as well as some physical and linguistic aspects of their development.

Your child’s motor skills, language development and vocabulary will benefit in the long term from such educational games. What more could you as a parent hope for from a game?

Read on to find out what positive impacts clapping games can have on your child’s development and which games are particularly suitable for small children and adults to play together.

What are clapping games?

Every adult, and practically every child, knows some clapping games. They combine a child’s natural need for play and fun with an educational backdrop. Or in other words, clapping games are ideal for your child’s overall and linguistic development, and on top of that – they’re a lot of fun!

Clapping games always follow a certain game pattern with a combination of rhythmical lyrics or spoken texts and a set of synchronised hand claps. Simple rhyming sentences or sometimes even invented speech are used.

Individual words are emphasised by a varied clapping of the hands: either with the left hand, the right hand, or both hands simultaneously. Many variations of the games also use the fingers, for example shaking them along with a certain word. Although the games follow a specific rhythm, it is possible to play them at a different, slower tempo to facilitate the learning and understanding of the children’s game.

How do clapping and singing games differ?

A search for clapping games on the Internet will probably also produce some singing games. However, the two categories of game differ a little from one another. While singing games use only songs and music to explore language and rhythm, clapping games make greater use of a child’s motor skills. Singing games encourage your child’s understanding of language, and can help develop their vocabulary just as well as a children’s game that involves clapping.

What makes singing games educational?

Did you know that singing is good for your child’s brain? This is because singing uses both halves of the brain. And this, in turn, is a wonderful way of training the interaction between the two halves. Songs facilitate the learning of new words as well, and support the development of language through play. They are, therefore also an educational way for parents to play with their child. However, there is no learning of set patterns of movement, or the training of skills that come into play with the coordinative types of game. Such as motor skills, for example. This makes singing games considerably easier than games in which children have to clap and speak or sing at the same time.

What positive effects do clapping games have on your child?

Every clapping game is first and foremost a fun challenge for small children. After all, there are several things going on at the same time which require attention: movement, language and sometimes even music or a song. And every game has its own rules for clapping, singing and joining in. But don’t worry, children often pick up the rules of the game more quickly than adults, and they’re red-hot when it comes to singing merrily and clapping along.

The simple language and childish rhymes have a positive influence on your child’s vocabulary and linguistic development. For example, they can learn one or two new words and develop their language knowledge.

In addition to linguistic development, the short sentences and amusing rhymes also have a major impact on your child’s memory. An additional benefit is the various sequences of movement that stimulate your child’s motor skills and coordination. Not to mention the social aspect of a clapping game. Singing and clapping together is an act of emotional involvement for a child, which massively strengthens the bond between the parents and their child. Your child is also able to develop their social skills while playing.

Which clapping games are suitable for parents and children to play together?

As you will have noticed at the beginning of this article, there are evergreen clapping songs that never go out of fashion. In addition to “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker’s man”, you certainly also know “A sailor went to sea, sea, sea”. These are two classics among clapping games and are ideal for playing with small children. They are catchy, really easy to learn (even for the parents) and are fun to sing or say.

In principle, the two games are similar, but they differ in terms of the language used. While “A sailor went to sea” uses simple rhymes and easily understandable words, “Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake” uses invented onomatopoeic words, which are particularly suitable for small children.

Perhaps you’re asking yourself how made-up words will help your child with learning new words and their overall linguistic development. It’s quite simple: in addition to the benefits that a clapping game can bring that we listed above, the act of speaking in and of itself can help your child’s linguistic development by training the mouth and face muscles. It’s not about understanding individual words, but the fun involved and the development of a child’s motor and linguistic skills.

And if we’re honest, the language and content of the majority of children’s songs are not all that distinguishable from fiction. It’s all a load of hokey-cokey.

Clapping games: always a good idea!

In conclusion, it remains to say that you can never go wrong by involving children in a clapping or singing game. Children’s games that have a positive effect on the overall and linguistic development of your child, while requiring minimal effort, can never have a downside to them. Every clapping and singing song offers a child a new opportunity for learning and discovering language, rhythm and movement.

The times that parents and child share playing are valuable moments in a child’s development. So why not play something that is fun for everyone and perhaps also brings back one or two happy memories of your own childhood?

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