Games Kids Play, Clapping Games, Jump Rope Rhymes and Playground Songs

Games Kids Play, Clapping Games, Jump Rope Rhymes and Playground Songs

Playground games and jump rope songs are some of the most fun things I remember from when I was a kid. Decades later I can chant along and perform complex clapping patterns with friends who share those memories with me. The characters and tunes stay with you and when you least expect it, Ms. Lucy and her Steamboat and Miss Mary Mack are playing Down in the Valley while Cinderella Dressed in Yellow turns around with teddy bears.

These games, songs and clapping patterns have been passed from grade to grade, from kid to kid, camp to camp and school to school for generations. Some are regional favorites, but many are wide spread and can be heard on playgrounds throughout the United States. Share your favorites with us, and if you can have someone take a quick video while you show us how it’s done. I hope you enjoy this collection of kids games and childhood fun!

recess games from school

Cat’s Cradle String Game


Cat’s cradle is a series of string figures created and passed back and forth between two (or more) people as a game. The name of the entire game, the specific figures, their order, and the names of the figures vary. The game consists of two or more players making a sequence of string figures, each altering the figure made by the previous player. After each figure, the next player manipulates … Read More!

Apple On A Stick


Apple on a stick Makes me sick Makes my heart beat Two forty six Not because it’s dirty, Not because it’s clean, Not because I kissed a boy behind a magazine Boy’s girls having fun Here comes Johnny with a pickle up his bum, He can wiggle he can wobble He can even do the splits But I bet you 10 dollars He can’t do this, Close your eyes and … Read More!

Quaker’s Meeting


Kids sit in a circle facing each other. Chant together… Quaker’s meeting has begun no more laughing no more fun if you show your teeth or tongue your fortune has begun hummmmmmmmmmmm… Now everyone makes funny faces at each other trying to get each other to smile or laugh… if someone’s mouth opens from a grin into a smile and you can see their teeth – they are IT! The … Read More!

Had a Little Race Car 1969


Had a little race car 1969 Took it around the coooooo-rner! (continue saying ooo while the jumper in the middle runs out, runs around, and tries to get back into the rope while it is still swinging.) And slammed on the brakes, But the brakes didn’t work! Bumped into a lady, Bumped into a man. Bumped into a police man Man oh man! Police man caught me, Put me in … Read More!



Popcorn, popcorn Pop it once, pop it twice Don’t let it burn Popcorn, popcorn Turn around, touch the ground Freeze! Submitted by, Kivia B. from Mound Bayou, MS Another Version of the Popcorn Chant You put the oil in the pot And you make it real hot You put the popcorn in And begin to grin! Sizzle sizzle, sizzle sizzle, sizzle sizzle, POP! … Read More!