Pass the clap

Easy, simple, energetic activity ideal for all group sizes.

 Having Fun
1 – 5 minutes
1 – 8, 9 – 16, 17 – 30, 31+
Children, Youth, Adults

Step by Step Instructions:

  • The group must form into a circle, as a facilitator, you can include yourself.
  • Clap your hands together and move them in the direction towards the group
    member to your right.
  • This person must then do the same, by clapping their hands together while moving them to the member on their right.
  • Have the group continue like this and then see how fast everyone can go around the circle.
  • Continue around the circle for at least several times, by which time the movement should have a nice flow to it.
  • You can then change direction or try out a variation of the activity.

How to Play

This activity is very easy to perform, have the group form a circle that can include
yourself. Begin with yourself or ask somebody in the group to start by clapping their
hands. While clapping they should move their hands to their neighbor on the left, or
to the right.

Once the neighboring player receives the clap, they must then follow the action in
the same direction. They will then clap their hands towards the person on their right
and so on.

Have the group practice going around the circle and then have the participants go
faster and faster, see how fast they can go. Have the clap go around the circle for a
few times, you can add a variation by changing direction as well. Continue with this
activity until you have a nice flow going around the circle.

You will notice that in no time, the group will become more energized. This will help
for further activities, as they will be more enthusiastic about participating further.
See if you have enough time and include a few variations, see further below.


  • Easy and Simple
  • Fast & engaging
  • Invigorating warm-up
  • Improves observation skills
  • No props

Useful Framing Ideas

Think about times when something has worked out just right, or things are flowing
smoothly, and everything just comes together. How did this make you feel? Pretty
good, I’m sure.

Participating in the following activity will hopefully give you the same feeling of
excitement and accomplishment.

Practical Leadership Tips

Being a good facilitator means having a few useful activities on hand. These short,
fun activities are a great way to fill up some time when needed and can also help to
energize groups.

‘Pass the Clap’ is very simple and can be done by all, even those with disabilities. For
example, two people can use one of their hands together in order to clap. The activity can also be used as a way to observe the mechanics of clapping. Have members clap in front of each other and observe how each person stands, holds their hands and what sounds they make.

Reflections, Tips & Strategies

Here are a few questions to ask the group, which will help them process their experience of the game ‘Pass the Clap’

  • What were you feeling before everyone started clapping?
  • How did you feel after the activity and did anything change?
  • What observations did you make while playing the game?
  • Did you find the different variations difficult to perform successfully?

Popular Variations

  • Back and forth: When a player receives a clap, they must first return the clap
    before clapping towards the next person.
  • Changing direction: When receiving a clap, a person can at any time during the
    activity return the clap instead of moving in the same direction, thereby
    changing the direction.
  • Up and down: Have members pass their claps up high, above their heads, or
    down low. You could also combine both of these variations.
  • More Claps: Have members clap more than once before passing it on to the next person. Increase the challenge by including the clapping and the varying heights. For example, the first clap can be high and each one after that must be lower and lower, or vice versa.
  • Large seated groups: This is great for audiences in auditoriums that don’t have a lot of space. Have everyone stand up, then begin from one side of the room and have them clap towards their neighbor, until the other side of the room. You can have the audience do this back and forth a few times, which is a great way to wake them up.
  • Form teams: Have groups form teams that have 2,3, or 4 members. These teams must stand together within a larger group circle. Each team must then clap together when it’s their turn around the circle. The teams must try to produce one simultaneous clap.
  • There are many more clapping activities including, Clap Trap, Copy Claps, and Circle Clap to name a few.