Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack Hand motion: Arms across chest Pat thighs Clap hands
All dressed in black, black, black Clap right palms with partner
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons [butt’ns] Clap left palms with partner
All down her back, back, back. Clap both palms with partner
She asked her mother, mother, mother
for fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephants, elephants, elephants (or hippos)
Jump the fence, fence, fence.
They jumped so high, high, high
they reached the sky, sky, sky
And didn’t come back, back, back
Till the 4th of July, ly, ly!
I grew up with hand-clapping games as a young girl. They were fun and delightful, brought camaraderie, and even taught gross motor skills and keeping a steady beat. I had thought them to be on their way out, if not already out, but they are not. REALLY! In certain areas…in inner cities (where I had taught and saw them being used daily along with the fun rhymes for jumping rope), in the country where playing outdoors is part of living in the country, and the kids I am tutoring today use them so they are not endangered nor extinct. These rhyming games are still used and causing kids to have fun…even some adults join in!
When I was a kid, I loved them for we had to be two or more in order to play. We learned rhymes. We had to know or be willing to learn the clapping part. It took cooperation. And the better we got at doing these, the faster the game became. When they were too fast, the game fell apart, we fell on the ground or floor and rolled around laughing like crazy. Just kids having a lot of fun!
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Together… we learn to cooperate, to dance, to share, to give, and to love. Together. God shows us the beauty of His natural world and the blessings that flow from their abundance. He has given us the abundance of His love, His kindness, His shelter, His gentleness, His patience. And, most of all, He has given us His Son for Whom we rejoice as a body, His church, His children.
LORD, may we remember these gifts and Your many blessings, even in the midst of hard things, tough lessons, sad moments. May we rejoice in the Name of Jesus and know that You saved us from ourselves. May we never forget that You formed us and wove us, that You gave us the gift to be joyful and be as children. And may we remember the love that Jesus had for the little children, for the lessons He taught using a child… And He took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in My Name receives Me, and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.” Mark 9:36-37 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to M; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And He took them in His arms and blessed them, laying His hands on them. Mark 10:14-16 May I be as a child, Precious LORD. I pray in the Name of Your Son, Amen.
Photo of two girls clapping/playing game: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e2/9f/ec/e29fecdd659a2e1bb210bb405cb0c6e8.jpg
Miss Mary Mack/owl picture: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Hand-Clapping-Game-Miss-Mary-Mack-390566