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Finger rhymes with actions - part 1.

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Finger rhymes for toddlers. Illustration, clipart of a group of happy children.

Introduction to Finger-play Rhymes

The purpose of finger play rhymes:

The purpose of finger play rhymes for young children is to provide an interactive and engaging way for them to learn and develop fine motor skills. Finger play rhymes are designed to be fun and enjoyable for children, and they can be used to teach children a variety of concepts such as counting, colours, and shapes. They can also be used to improve a child's coordination, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, finger-play rhymes can also be used to improve a child's language skills by encouraging them to participate in singing and speaking the rhymes. They are also known to be helpful in building cognitive, social, and emotional development as well as promoting verbal and nonverbal communication skills.

This guide is intended for teachers, parents, and guardians who want to use finger-play rhymes to engage and educate children aged 3-7 years old. However, these rhymes can also be adapted for babies and children under 3 years of age.

Action Finger Rhymes for Babies

Performing action rhymes with babies can be done in front of them or while sitting on your lap. They may not be able to do much with their fingers, but they will inquisitively follow your every move and be listening intensely to your voice as you perform in front of them. As soon as they are able, they will be trying to copy your hand gestures and try to imitate the lyrics. A huge benefit to this will be experiencing a feeling of connection and bonding between you and the baby.

Finger-play Rhymes for Children Aged 3-7 Years Old

The finger-play rhymes that we have selected are aimed at children aged 3-7 years old. These rhymes are designed to be interactive and engaging, encouraging children to participate and join in the fun. They will help to develop fine motor skills and improve coordination while also providing an entertaining and enjoyable learning experience.

Successful tips for nailing action finger-play songs:

  • Start with simple actions and build up to more complex ones as the child becomes more confident and skilled.

  • Use exaggerated movements and facial expressions to capture the child's attention and make the experience more engaging.

  • Encourage participation by asking the child to repeat the actions and lyrics with you.

  • Vary the tempo and volume of your voice, including using whispers and exaggerated noises to create an exciting atmosphere. Speak louder or lower depending on the words in the rhyme and use a gruff voice when appropriate.

  • Use your body movements and facial expressions to bring the story of the verse to life, especially if you are doing finger-play with a group of children in a standing position.

  • Remember that the hand gestures for all the rhymes are not set in stone, they are just guidelines and can be adapted. Experiment with your own hand movements, and also allow children to come up with their own movements if they like.

  • Practice regularly to help the child develop muscle memory and improve fine motor skills.

  • Be patient and encouraging, praising the child for their efforts and progress.

  • Have fun and make the experience enjoyable for both you and the child.

Manipulative finger gym exercises

For all-round child development

The finger-play rhymes that we have chosen are excellent for motor coordination of the body. They also stimulate the imagination because they demand inventiveness.

They are suitable for groups or individual children, as well as being equally adaptable for home situations.

This is part one and consists of 5 fun finger-play rhymes

to be practised and performed with children.

1. My Hands

Here's an easy finger-play rhyme to start with. The actions are self-explanatory:

I hide my hands,

I shake my hands,

I give a little clap.

I clap my hands,

I shake my hands,

I put them in my lap.

The verse can be repeated slowly, then at normal speed, and then fast.

Finger-play rhyme: 'My Hands'

Watch the video to see the hand actions

Finger rhyme Lyrics

1. 'My Hands'

I hide my hands,

I shake my hands,

I give a little clap.

I clap my hands,

I shake my hands,

I put them in my lap.

2. Fingers Dance

My fingers dance

and hide away.

Crawl them out

and see them play.

Slowly, slowly, let them creep,

Fold them up and go to sleep.

Finger-play action - Corresponding with each line:

1. Dance fingers.

2. Hide fingers behind back.

3. Crawl fingers along.

4. Dance fingers.

5. Creep fingers slowly.

6. Fold hands.

3. Mice Creeping

Small mice creeping

On soft mice feet,

Patter... Patter... Patter.

Pussy cat crawling

On pussy cat feet...

Mice all scamper and scatter!

Finger-play action:

Corresponding with a line -

Verse 1: One hand will represent the mice, this hand slowly creeps and crawls along (very quietly)

Verse 2: Line 1 & 2 - the other hand represents the cat and it crawls along with firm, deliberate movements.

Line 3. The first hand that represents the mice scampers away.

4. Five Mice Sleeping

Five mice sleeping

So quiet in their nest.

Wakey, wakey one,

Wakey, wakey up two,

Now... wake up all the rest!

Finger-play action:

Corresponding with a line -

Line 1 & 2. Have your hand clasped, all fingers tucked up.

3. Hold up your little finger.

4. Hold up your ring finger.

5. Hold up the rest of your fingers.

5. Little Thumb

Little thumb can stand up straight,

So very, very tall!

Little thumb can hide away,

Now he's very small!

Little thumb can dance about,

And bounce this way and that.

Clap your hands! Fold your hands!

Put them in your lap.

Finger-play action: Self-explanatory, but you can get creative too!

Finger rhymes are extremely beneficial. The more you practice them, the more they will flow and be enjoyed by the children that you perform them with - have fun!

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