Clapping rhythms (3 years and older)

Build on your child’s listening skills with this fun clapping activity.

Home Learning

You will need

  • NOTHING - just your hands, and your child’s hands.

What to do

  1. Clap a simple rhythm for your child, slowly at first. Something like: 1,2,3. Wait for your child to copy, then repeat.

  2. Slowly, add more complicated instructions. For example: 1,2, 1-2-3 1,pause, 1-2-3 1-2-3-4-5

  3. Keep to patterns of 5 first, then experiment with clapping patterns of more than 5.

  4. To make it more challenging, gradually get faster and faster, or include other body parts- like tapping your knees or your head.


Learning outcomes

  • This activity helps your child work on their listening skills, by working hard to listen to you and replicate you as accurately as possible.
  • Clapping and tapping to a rhythm is a learning milestone for children aged 3 years and older. Your child will practise this milestone during this activity.
  • This activity provides children with the foundations of rhythm needed later - such as clapping the rhythm of songs and music (four children aged 4+).