Ways to Clap

Find lots of creative ways to applaud your children.


A clap is often the best reward (whether from you or the whole class) – and there are lots of different ways to do this.

Children enjoy being asked to choose which clap they would like.


Cloud clap: this is a clap where your hands don’t meet (but instead clap a ‘cloud’ in between). Some people call this a marshmallow clap. It has all the energy of clapping but no sound.

Slow motion cloud clap: the same in slow motion.

Crocodile clap: the whole class puts out both arms like an open crocodile mouth. After ‘one, two, three’ everyone does one clap at the same time.

One-finger clap: clapping with just the index finger of both hands. Or just the little finger. Good for small motor skills.

Rain clap: this starts as one finger clapping the palm of the other hand. Then you add a second finger, then a third, a fourth and finally the whole hand – like the sound of rain building up.

Thunder clap: children stamp the floor with their feet and slap their knees with their hands.

Silent clap: this is how the deaf community claps. Put your hands in the air and rotate your wrists side to side. Autistic children also often prefer silent clapping as loud noise can be disturbing for them.

Super thumbs up: a double thumbs up with a funky dance.

Karate chops: lots of karate chops in the air while saying ‘Chop, chop, chop, chop, chop’.

Pat on the back: tell the children to put their palm out in front of them. And then to give themselves a pat on the back.