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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

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…


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…