Social Games: Patty Cake

Patty cake, or to some pat a cake, is a fun social game that works on imitation too!


The purpose of patty cake is to interact with your child in a fun way! More importantly, this social game imitation helps to develop early social skills, and possible first words!

It also targets the following infant speech language milestones:

  • Plays social games
  • Smiles in response to familiar faces 
  • Joint attention

How to Play:

Patty Cake is a classic nursery rhyme that is paired with motor movements. Read below for the lyrics and actions. After, I will describe common adaptions for the age and ability of young children. 


  • Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man
  • Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
  • Roll it
  • Pat it
  • Mark it with B
  • Put it in the oven for baby and me

Lyrics with Actions: 

Patty cake, patty cake, baker's man:

  • While singing this sentence, clap hands with your child

Bake me a cake as fast as you can

  • While singing this sentence, continue clapping hands with your child

Roll it

  • Move forearms over one another in a circular motion (aka, rolling)

Pat it

  • With both palms facing down, pat the air as if it was dough

Mark it with B

  • Draw a B in the air with your finger

Put it in the oven for baby and me

  • Open a pretend oven door and use both hands to push the cake in!
  • Clap with child (I give a kiss!)


If your child is younger, he or she may not be able to imitate the movements. If your child is less than 12 months, almost certainly not! Therefore, I listed some common variations.

  • Sing song while child watches
  • Clap your hands over your child's hands
  • Take child's hands and do movements while singing

› Patty Cake