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Kids Are Kids The World Over All Kids Love Playing Africa Hand Clapping Games

Africa for Kids, Hand Clapping Games

Oral traditions are important in African history and culture. One such oral tradition is hand-clapping games played by children throughout Africa. Liberian clapping games are a form of play that involves rhythmic hand movements and chants. They are popular among children in Liberia and other parts of West Africa. Clapping games can help children develop coordination, memory, and social skills. 

African Hand Clapping Games

Liberian Refugee Orphans in Ghana at the Africa Heartwood Project Refugee Orphan Home at Buduburam Refugee Camp perform three Liberian clapping games.

The children are speaking traditional Liberian Pidgin-English, which they commonly refer to as Coloqwa (KOH-loh-kwah). Liberian clapping games are a form of play that involves rhythmic hand movements and chants. They are popular among children in Liberia and other parts of West Africa. Clapping games can help children develop coordination, memory, and social skills.

Kids Are Kids The World Over All Kids Love Playing Africa Hand Clapping Games; here are three popular hand-clapping games in Liberia, Africa.  

Clapping games in Liberia are a delightful and entertaining form of play that incorporates a series of rhythmic hand movements and spirited chants. These games have become increasingly popular amongst children not just in Liberia but also in other parts of West Africa. Engaging in clapping games can help children develop essential skills such as coordination, memory, and social skills while having fun and making lasting memories.

Hand Clapping Game #1

Title: Unknown

Performed by: Rannecia and Promise

Hand Clapping Game #2

Performed by: Felicia, Victoria, Promise,  Jackerline, Temoh and Princess

Title: Oh Mama. This game is about the war in Liberia and meeting a boyfriend in an ice cream shop. The players clap their hands and sing.

Oh Mama, Mama!

Oh Papa, the war!

The war has make in the Burkina Faso.

I say East, the West.

I met my boyfriend in the ice cream shop.

He bought me ice cream on my wedding day.

Mama, Mama. I'm so sick.

Take me to the doctor, shall be quick quick quick.

Shall be quick quick quick.

Doctor, doctor. Will I die?

No my dear, you will live forever more.

Forever more!


Hand Clapping Game #3

Performed by: Princess and Temoh

Title: Meter Competition. This game is about measuring distances with the hands. The players clap their hands and say

I, I, I, I promise.

Please show me.

Television.

For example.

1 meter... 2 meter... 3 meter (and so on until one partner makes a mistake).

Hand Clapping Games

How to play Hand Clapping Games

Hand-clapping games are a fun way to practice rhythm, coordination and social skills with your friends. Here are some steps to learn how to play hand-clapping games.

Choose a partner and a game

Find someone who wants to play with you and decide which hand-clapping game you want to play. There are many different games, such as Miss Mary Mack, A Sailor Went to Sea, and Down Down Baby. You can look up the lyrics and instructions online or ask someone who knows them."

Learn the pattern and the lyrics

Each hand-clapping game has a specific pattern of claps and a song that goes with it. You and your partner need to learn both the pattern and the lyrics by heart. You can practice by yourself or with your partner until you feel confident.

Start the game

Stand facing your partner and hold your hands up at chest level. Start clapping according to the pattern and singing along with the lyrics. Try to keep a steady rhythm and sync with your partner. Have fun and enjoy the game.

Try these classic hand-clapping games.

My Mother Told Me. This game is about what mothers tell their children to do or not to do. The players clap their hands and sing "My mother told me (clap clap) if I was goody (clap clap) that she would buy me (clap clap) a rubber dolly (clap clap)". Then they take turns to say something that their mother told them, such as "My mother told me not to play with fire", "My mother told me to eat my vegetables", "My mother told me to brush my teeth", etc.

Fire on the Mountain. This hand-clapping game is about escaping from a fire on the mountain. The players clap their hands and sing "Fire on the mountain run run run! Fire on the mountain run run run! Everybody run run! Everybody run run! Fire on the mountain run run run!" Then they take turns to say something that they would do if there was a fire on the mountain, such as "I will take my bag", "I will call my mom", "I will jump in the river", etc.

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