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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

Miss Mary Mack

Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack All dressed in black, black, black with silver buttons, buttons, buttons all down her back, back, back She asked her mother, mother, mother for fifteen cents, cents, cents to see the elephants, elephants, elephants jump over the fence, fence, fence. They jumped so high, high, high they reached the sky,…

Inka Binka

Inka binka is a way for kids to choose who will be “IT” in the next game they play. Kids stand in a circle and put a closed fist into the circle with their thumbs facing up. One person sings the song, keeping one hand in the circle with the other kids, and the other…