Give them a hand! Share your High Five and support our #5for5 campaign

5For5 High Five Lebanon Logo 20
Children at a school in Lebanon get ready to high five (Theirworld/Hussein Baydoun)

Child nutrition (Early years), Early childhood development, ​Learning through play (Early years)

Fact alert – 90% of your brain is developed by the time you’re five! While you’re still scared of the dark, your first few years of playing peek-a-boo and laughing are actually setting you up for the rest of your life.

Thousands of Theirworld supporters have already signed up to support our #5for5 campaign for early childhood development. In 2017, we can transform how the world thinks about the first five years of life.

So today we’re asking you to stand up for those who haven’t mastered standing up yet – and be part of a global high five to pressure governments to start investing more in giving every child the best start in life.

To get you in the mood, we’ve got a fun guide to the high five below.

But first … click on this video to see how you can get involved.

The #5for5 campaign is about making sure all children have access to quality care including nutrition, health, learning, play and protection. It urges world leaders to commit to a dramatic increase in funding and take action to support early childhood development programmes to make sure all children get the best start in life.

Our high five call to action today is about spreading the word. If we want to raise kids up, we need to start by raising awareness.

Even young children know how to high five. See what we mean?

Egyptian High Five

So how did the high five start?

Was it these guys, way back in ancient Egypt? Er, probably not. 

There's got to be a more modern reason for the gesture that's become known and used worldwide.

A couple of American sports are battling it out for the glory of the first high five. Baseball and basketball both claim they invented the iconic greeting.

Many people believe the first high five took place on October 2, 1977, in Dodger Stadium between Glenn Burke and Dusty Baker of the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Dusty hit a home run that made them the first team in baseball history to have four players with at least 30 home runs.

Dodgers High Five

Is this the first high five by Glenn Burke and Dusty Baker in 1977?

Glenn raised his hand triumphantly in the air toward Dusty, who returned the gesture and they smacked hands. “It seemed like the thing to do,” he said.

Or the other version is…

Louisville Cardinals basketball players Wiley Brown and Derek Smith claim to have invented the high five during the 1978-79 season. 

It’s claimed Brown went to give a regular low five to teammate Smith during a practice session.

The “low five” had been popular among African-Americans since the Second World War. Wiley went to give Derek a low five during practice – his teammate looked at him and said: “No. Up high.”

National High Five Day

The High Five has its own annual day – the third Thursday of April. It was invented by students at the University of Virginia, who do a High-Five-athon – high-fiving as many people as possible in 24 hours to raise money for cancer research.

It’s now catching on and many schools and universities across the world raise money and awareness of cutting-edge cancer research this way.

The High Five fail

There’s nothing more awkward than going for it and the other person snubs your advance. He might have just won the Super Bowl with the greatest comeback ever – but even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady can get it horribly wrong sometimes.

And this attempt by American TV and film stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the 2016 Golden Globes wasn’t the finest effort we’ve ever seen.

A firm slap of the hands is always best. Like this…

Here are some great variations to try out…

Five fun high fives

  • The double high five – using both hands at the same time to celebrate. Popular with sportsmen.
  • The high five/fist bump combo – even former US President Barack Obama has been spotted doing this.
  • The air high five – no need to get up close and personal, just raise your hand in the air like a wave.
  • The slap high five – where two people turn their bodies to face each other and slap their hands together hard and fast.
  • The group high five – when an adult offers their hand up and lots of children hit it at the same time.

High five records

From the Guinness World Records…

Indian Students At Kalinga Institute Of Social Sciences

Children at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in India

The most high-fives in one minute is 290 by Kaiser Permanente San Diego (USA), in San Diego, California, USA, in April 2016.

The longest “high five” chain was 3473 people in Avondale, Arizona, USA, in November 2016 – they were schoolchildren from third to eighth grade.

The most people performing a high-five simultaneously is 25,250 in December 2015 at the Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences in Bhubaneswar, India – where indigenous tribal children from some of the poorest areas are schooled.

The most high fives in 24 hours by an individual is 14,607 and was achieved by Pete Timbs during the Bridge to Brisbane fun run, in Brisbane in September 2012.

Say high five in five languages

Spain Flag


Choca los cincos

France Flag


Tape m'en cinq

Germany Flag


Jǔ shǒu jí zhǎng

Germany Flag


Gib mir fünf

Pakistan Flag


Uca paja

And finally…

Have you signed the #5for5 petition yet? 

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