Clapping games

Explore the history, variety and continued development of this important and popular genre of play.

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An introduction to clapping games

In the video Michael Rosen introduces the history of clapping games.

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Clapping games

Article by:
Julia Bishop

Clapping games have been a popular form of children's play for generations, Julia Bishop examines their continued popularity in 21st century.

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clapping

An introduction to clapping games

Article by:
Michael Rosen

Clapping games are the big recent success story of the playground and have exploded in popularity since the 1960s.

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Clapping games: an animation

View an animation exploring the tradition of clapping games on the British Library website.

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Continuity and Change

Professor Andrew Burn and Steve Roud discuss how childhood has changed over the last few decades.

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Media Cultures

Professor Andrew Burn explores the way in which media cultures influence children in the playground.

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Further themes

Ball games

Ball games have a long cultural history, discover more about their past and the ways in which they feature in modern day playgrounds.

Clapping games

Explore the history, variety and continued development of this important and popular genre of play.

Influences on children's play

As adults we are all influenced by day-to-day world around us, children are no exception. Children's play is impacted by many factors including the media, fashion, books, gender and ethnicity – view the videos below to explore more.

Counting out rhymes

Over the decades children have developed their own ways of democratically deciding who is to be 'it' or in which team, discover more here.

Jokes and rude rhymes

Humour plays an important role in children's play and their development of verbal and social skills – explore the role of jokes and rude rhymes in the playground.

Playing with things

Children can develop seemingly endless games based around physical objects they see around them.

Pretend play

Children can use pretend play to explore a myrid of situations from bereavement to cooking a meal, flying a spaceship to caring for a baby. Discover more about this important aspect of childhood.

Running around games

Running around is perennially popular among children, explore the ways children often structure and develop these games.

Singing and dancing

Many of the singing and dancing games that children play today have long and convoluted histories, learn more about this genre of play here.

Skipping games

Once the most popular games in Britain, skipping games have seen a recent decline in playground popularity. Explore more about their history, development and benefits here.