Fingerplays and Mother Goose nursery rhymes are frequently among young children's first
contact with poetry. They have withstood the test of time and been kept alive for generations
because they capture the fancy of infants and children. Experts agree their sustained appeal is
due to the combination of hand movements with simple chants or songs. An animated face,
creative delivery and amusing gestures are simply too compelling to ignore!
Caregivers will find fingerplays are easy, fun and educational activities to do with our
children. They don't cost anything except for time and perhaps a few props. Their delightful
appeal to infants and children make them a ready source of entertainment. They work equally
well with a group of children or with the individual child. Fingerplays can be used effectively
with the child who is ill as a sitting down or bed activity. They can be used to soothe and calm
a child or to stimulate their intellect and imagination.
In addition to their entertainment value, fingerplays provide opportunities for children
to develop their cognitive skills. As they observe, listen, follow and repeat fingerplays children improve their
language skills by associating words with meaning. Many of the rhymes reflect a
child's world. They are about mealtime, bedtime, and families. They are about rain, flowers,
animals. Fingerplays give children an opportunity to learn about right and left, up and down,
and their bodies from head to toe. The actions of the rhymes are perfect forms of creative
expression for children who love to participate. Participation helps children to increase their
hand and eye coordination and fine motor skills by manipulating their hands and fingers to
wiggle, stretch, pound, point, and dance while they animate the rhymes. Fingerplays improve
their listening and memory skills as the musical language of the rhymes makes them easy to say
and remember. Fingerplays strengthen children's memories as they learn to memorize the sequence
of words and actions. Children learn how to amuse and entertain themselves. They experience
pride in their accomplishments when they perform for others. Best of all, they have fun and
create cherished memories with their loved ones. So the next time you find yourself around a
small child or a group of children, amuse them by repeating, singing, or acting-out a
fingerplay. They really are fun and you will find yourself the center of their attention.
My Favorite Fingerplays
Click on these icons or titles to visit my favorite chants and fingerplays.
A Baby Alligator An Apple Surprise
Another 5 Little Ghosts
Another 5 Litle Pumpkins
An Unexpected Sight
A Penny For Your Pumpkin
A Shining Star
At The Beach
Ball For Baby
Chubby Little Snowman
Dance Thumbkin Dance Down Through The Chimney Families
5 Brave Fire Fighters
5 Funny Circus Clowns
5 Huge Dinosaurs
5 In The Bed
5 Little Bells
5 Little Busy Bees
5 Little Elves
5 Little Goblins
5 Little Monkeys
5 Little Pumpkins
5 Little Reindeer
5 Little Snowmen
5 Merry Mice
5 Spring Flowers
Holiday Parade How Many Valentines?
I Am A Little Turkey
I Feel If You're Happy I've Got A Skeleton
Jack In The Box
Jumping Jelly Bean
Kwanzaa Candles Leaves Are Falling All Around
Made With Love
Myrtle Was A Turtle
9 Little Reindeer
Oh No A Fire Pennsylvania Pete Rainbow Rhyme
See The Snowflakes
Six Silly Spiders
Snowing All Around
Spring Has Sprung Stop and Go
Teddy Bear Teddy Bear
Ten Little Fingers 10 Little Fire Fighters That's About The Size Of It
The Bee Hive
The Chimney The Eensie Weensie Spider
The Engineer The Love Bug
This Little Piggy
3 Little Christmas Trees
Thumbs Up Under My Umbrella
Way Up High In The Apple Tree
We're Going On A Bug Hunt
What's The Weather? When Santa Comes
Where Is Thumbkin? Wiggle
If you are interested in learning more finger plays, use the following bibliography.
Keep in mind that fingerplay books may be borrowed from the Children's Department at the West Winfield Public Library.
Busy Fingers, Growing Minds. Rhoda Redleaf. Redleaf Press: St. Paul, Minnesota. 1993. ISBN 0-934140-79-0.
Clap Your Hands: Finger Rhymes.
Do Your Ears Hang Low?. Tom Glazer.
Father Gander Nursery Rhymes. Doug Larche.
Finger Frolics. Liz Cromwell. Gryphon House: Mt. Rainer, Maryland. 1983. ISBN 0-933212-10-0.
Finger Fun. Salisbury.
Finger Plays. Poulsson.
Finger Plays and Action Rhymes. Jacobs.
Fingerplays & Rhymes: Forever Always & Sometimes. Terry lynne Graham.
Fingerlings: Finger Puppet for Little Ones Preschool Games. Jean Stangl. Fearon Teacher Aids ; Carthage Illinois: 1986. ISBN 0-8224-3061-4.
Fold-and-Cut Stories and Finger Plays. Marj Hart. Fearon Teacher Aids ; Carthage Illinois: 1987. ISBN 0-8224-3150-5.
Follow the Music. Coit.
Games For The very Young: Fingerplays & Nursery Games. Elizabeth Mary Matterson.
God's Wonderful World. Mason.
Hand Rhymes Collected and Illustrated by Marc Brown Dutton Children's Books New York 1985 ISBN 0-525-44201-4 $14.99.
Lap-Time Song & Play Book.
Let You Fingers Do The Talking. Kathy Overholser.
Let's Play with Fingers. Summer.
Mitt Magic. Lynda Roberts. Gryphon House: Mt. Rainer, Maryland. 1985. ISBN 0-87659-111-X.
Move Over Mother Goose.Ruth I. Dowell.
Musical Games, Fingerplays, & Rhythmic Activities for Early Childhood.
One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potato, Four. Mary Lou Colgin. Gryphon House: Mt. Rainer, Maryland. 1982. ISBN 0-87659-141-1.
Rhymes for Learning Times. Louise Binder Scott.
The best of the Mailbox Magazine: Songs, Poems & Fingerplays Preschool-Kindergarten. TEC 1467 $19.95.
The Eentsy, Weentsy Spider Fingerplays and Action Rhymes by Joanna Cole & Stephanie Calmenson Mulberry Books New York 1991 ISBN 0-688-10805-9 $6.95.
Thematic Poems, Songs & Fingerplays: 45 Irresistible Rhymes & Activities to Build Literacy. Meish Goldish.
Wee Sing Children's Songs and Fingerplays Pamela Conn Beall and Susan Hagen Nipp Price Stern Sloan Los Angeles 1985 ISBN 0-8431-3807-6 $2.95.
Where Is Thumbkin? Pam Schiller and Thomas Moore. Gryphon House: Mt. Rainer, Maryland. 1993. ISBN 0-87659-164-0.
Wonder Book of Finger Plays and Action Rhymes. Pierce
Click on Red Teddy to Return to
The Preschool Fingerplays Page