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Natural Awakenings

Clapping Hands Sharpens The Brain: Children ages 6 through 10 boost motor and cognitive skills.

Sep 02, 2010 04:01PM

A new study by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev reveals that hand-clapping songs boost the development of motor and cognitive skills in children ages 6 through 10. “We found that children in the first, second and third grades who sing these [kinds of] songs demonstrate skills absent in children who don’t take part in similar activities,” explains Dr. Idit Sulkin, of the university’s music science lab. “We also found that children who spontaneously perform hand-clapping songs in the yard during recess have neater handwriting, write better and make fewer spelling errors.”

Sulkin engaged several elementary school classrooms in a program of either music appreciation or hand-clapping songs for 10 weeks. With the hand-clapping group, she found that “Within a very short period of time, the children who until then hadn’t taken part in such activities caught up in their cognitive abilities to those who did.”

The children’s teachers believe that those who participate in such hand-clapping songs also exhibit better social integration.

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