Kids get active in this popular Recess Enhancement Game (REP) activity, Pat, Clap, Thump. 


Pat, Clap, Thump

Who: Grades 3-8 

Players: 5+ 

Time: 10 minutes+ 

Where: Auditorium, cafeteria, classroom, gymnasium, hallway, library, playground 

Equipment: None 

How to Play

  • Players form a circle standing 6 feet away from one another. Everyone will receive a number, and that number will determine the player's spot in the circle. 
  • The player who is number 1 will begin a pattern that everyone will follow. The pattern is: 
    • Pat, Pat: Pat your legs with your hands twice 
    • Clap, Clap: Clap your hands twice 
    • Thump, Thump: Stomp your right foot on the ground, then your left.
  • After two repeats of the pattern, the player who is number 1 will continue the pattern, but say his or her number on the first clap, then the number of someone else in the circle on the second clap.  
  • The person who is the second number will then say his or her number on the first clap, and then the number of another person on the second clap. This pattern will continue until there is a mistake. 
  • If a player makes a mistake, he or she will do jumping jacks equal to the assigned number. That player will then take on the largest number in the group, and everyone behind him or her moves up a number. 

Check for Understanding

  • When do you say the numbers? 
  • What numbers do you say? 

Game Tip

Practice the pattern several times so players can get comfortable. 

Conflict-Resolution Tip

  • Slow the pace of the pattern down if players are consistently making mistakes. 


Easy: Add in a new movement to the pattern. 

Medium: Speed the pattern up.  

Hard: Change the order that players have to say the numbers each round. 

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