Hand Clapping Games: Miss Mary Mack

hand clapping song

I have become quite the thrift store book shopper. I find myself drawn to the thrift store and I can’t stop at just glancing at the book section. Oh no! I have to look at each and every book. At first I was buying any and all books I had ever read as a kid. Then I got captivated by “vintage” books and couldn’t pass up anything published before 1975.

I have finally decided to step back and look for books that I know we will love and are in good condition. This is tough for me because I don’t care what a book looks like as long as it is a good story! Anyway, yesterday I spent a very long time at the thrift store while my kids played with all the dirty play kitchens and toy pianos. I found a few lovely books but our favorite so far is Miss Mary Mack: A Hand-Clapping Rhyme.

hand clap game

I know, it doesn’t sound very interesting but to Lydia? She thinks this is the funniest and most FUN book she’s ever read. The first page has the music and instructions to the handclaps. I fancy myself a very good handclapper and did not even understand how to do the moves they suggested. Plus, I figured they would be too hard for Lydia. So, I taught her a basic hand clapping game routine:

SLAP your legs

CLAP your hands together

PAT your partner’s hands

OK, so it’s only one step up from Patty Cake. But it took her quite awhile to be able to keep up with me AND say the words along with the clapping. She was so excited she could barely go to sleep last night and even called me up one extra time to remind her of the words!

Today we played for a long long time and she wanted to read and clap to the entire book! (I think the original rhyme only had 3 verses. The book has about 25!) Here she is playing Miss Mary Mack with YOU:

Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack from oh amanda on Vimeo.

I looked all over the internet this afternoon to find some more hand clapping songs but honestly, some of them are kinda inappropriate (Miss Suzy? Hello My Enemy?). But I think we’ll keep it up because this is such a fun non-toy concentration activity. I love that Lydia is lovin’ it!

Did you play hand clapping games as a kid? Which one do you remember most?

photo by ***karen


  1. I remember Miss Mary Mack very well! I also remember around 7 years of age getting in trouble with my 1st cousin (who was older than me) when she found me and her daughter (who was my age) doing the Miss Mary Mack verse of “She could not read / she could not write / but she could smoke / her father’s pipe”. haha 🙂

    I also remember doing My Little Playmate / come out and play with me / and bring your dollies 3 / climb up the apple tree…. and I def remember Miss Suzy and the one about the little turtle “Tiny Tim” (I had a little turtle / his name was tiny tim / i put him in the bathtub / to see if he could swim / he drank up all the water / he ate up all the soap / he would have ate the bathtub / but it wouldn’t go down his throat)

    We use to do them every day in 3rd grade on the play ground but I can’t remember any more right now. lol 🙂
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..It snowed in South Carolina! =-.

  2. Adorable Video! She looks like her mama!
    .-= Janna @ The Adventure of Motherhood´s last blog ..Top Ten Reasons to Love Mabel’s Labels =-.

  3. Loved these games as a kid–I think my heyday was 2nd grade…I think the only ones I remember are the inappropriate ones, though.
    .-= vanessa@silly eagle books´s last blog ..free books for georgia kids =-.

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