Remember those clapping games we used to play as kids? Between the silly (or nonsense) lyrics and the fast-paced sequence of claps, taps, snaps, and crosses, clapping games provided hours of entertainment. It might seem like just fun and games, but there's actually more to it than that. Clapping games can be beneficial to children's development.
Dr. Idit Sulkin has conducted research on the topic of children's hand-clapping games, noting:
"These activities serve as a developmental platform to enhance children’s needs — emotional, sociological, physiological, and cognitive. It’s a transition stage that leads them to the next phases of growing up.” (source)
Clapping games are a great way to incorporate rhythm and movement into your choir rehearsals while reinforcing gross motor skills, rhythmic concepts (such as steady beat and subdivision), coordination skills, and the concept of sequencing (source). If you're working with a younger group, try modifying the clapping sequence to fit their ability level (scroll down to the bottom of this article for a few helpful tips).