Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Throughout history, some elements of children's play have remained universal. Children bounce balls, jump rope, clap hands to rhythmic sequences, but the way they play or the chants they chose recite tend to be particular to their own countries and customs. Children, especially in urban environments, adopted clapping games when resources were minimal. Gender often shaped play: while boys received resources to play ball games, girls adopted hand-clapping games because no equipment was required. Whether waiting for class, sitting on a stoop, or just passing time, girls could break into spontaneous clapping rhyme games or hand rhythm sequences, embellishing rhymes that have sometimes been traces back in history for hundreds of years. All that was needed was a friend who either ...