Babies Walkers to 2 2s to 3s 3s to 4s

Overview and benefit

Young children need to develop control and co-ordination of their fingers and gradually build strength in their hands. This control is of vital importance later when they will use their hand muscles to draw, write, cut and manipulate other tools. Babies usually develop control of their fingers and hands before they can talk, so can learn finger actions to rhymes even before they can say the words.

Training video

finger play rhymes from MAD Academy on Vimeo.

Equipment required

  • Your hands and fingers

Duration

  •  Two to three weeks for each rhyme to give the children the chance to learn the words and the actions

How it works

This activity is all about teaching children some simple rhymes with finger and hand actions. Choose one rhyme each week and go through the actions with the children and parents before doing the rhyme. Repeat the rhyme a few times. Rhymes that are good for this include:

  • Twinkle twinkle
  • Incy Wincy
  • Round and round the garden
  • Slowly slowly
  • I have 10 little fingers
  • Here is the Church (actions described below)
  • Two Little Dickie Birds (actions described below)
  • Tommy Thumb (actions described below)
  • Here is the beehive (actions described below)

What to do in the class

Have the class sitting in a circle with children on adults laps so that they can see the adults’ fingers in front of them as they both do the actions. Demonstrate the rhyme with the finger actions first to ensure all adults know what they are. Now repeat the rhyme a few times encouraging the children to join in with the moves. If you get the children to put their fingers in the start position ready for the beginning of the rhyme they will have more of a chance to learn a few more of them.

Adaptations for older/younger children

Stick to the simpler rhymes for younger children

What to do in a nursery setting

No adaptation required

Tips

You could give children finger puppets as you say a normal rhyme and ask them to do ‘actions’ with their puppets.

Here is the Church

Here is the church,
(fingers of both hands interlocked with your fingers inside)
And here is the steeple.
(raise both index fingers to a point)
Open the doors,
(keep fingers interlocked but turn palms up, like you are unfolding your hands)
And here are the people.
(wiggle fingers)

Tommy Thumb

Tommy Thumb
Where are you?
Here I am, here I am,
(Raise your thumb)
How do you do?
(Repeat with each of the other verses raising each finger in turn)

Peter Pointer
Toby Tall
Ruby Ring
Baby Finger
Finger Family – here we are.

Two Little Dickie Birds

Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall,
(Point your index fingers and place them on each knee)
One named Peter, one named Paul
(Raise each finger in turn)
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul
(Waggle your finger as you move your had behind your back)
Come back Peter,
(Bring your right finger back)
Come back Paul
(Bring your left finger back)

I have Ten Fingers

(Say the rhyme and follow the instructions in the lyrics)

I have ten little fingers and they all belong to me,
I can make them do things-would you like to see?
I can shut them up tight, I can open them wide,
I can put them together, I can make them all hide.
I can make them jump high,
I can make them jump low.
I can fold them up quietly and hold them just so.

Twinkle twinkle little star

Twinkle twinkle little star
(Hold hands up about shoulder height and wiggle your fingers)
How I wonder what you are
(Shrug your shoulders and hold hands out, palms up to show you are wondering)
Up above the world so high
(Point up high)
Like a diamond in the sky
(Make a diamond shape with the forefinger and thumb from each hand)
Twinkle twinkle little star
(Hold hands up about shoulder height and wiggle your fingers)
How I wonder what you are
(Shrug your shoulders and hold hands out, palms up to show you are wondering)

Wind the Bobbin Up

Wind the bobbin up,
(Circle your hands around one another as if winding a bobbin up)
Wind the bobbin up,
(Circle your hands around one another as if winding a bobbin up)
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap.
(Pull your hands apart and clap three times)
Wind it back again,
(Circle your hands in the opposite direction around one another)
Wind it back again,
(Circle your hands in the opposite direction around one another)
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap.
(Pull your hands apart and clap three times)
Point to the ceiling,
(Point)
Point to the floor,
(Point)
Point to the window,
(Point)
Point to the door.
(Point)
Clap your hands together, one, two, three.
(Clap three times)
Put your hands upon your knees.
(Put your hands on your knees)
Wind the bobbin up,
(Circle your hands around one another as if winding a bobbin up)
Wind the bobbin up,
(Circle your hands around one another as if winding a bobbin up)
Pull, pull, clap, clap, clap.
(Pull your hands apart and clap three times)

The Incy-Wincy Spider

Incy-Wincy spider went up the water spout
(Touch your left index finger to your right thumb, then swap back and forth to turn your hands into spiders)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
(Wiggle your fingers downwards like rain drops falling and sweep your hands apart towards the bottom)
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
(Sweep your hands up and outwards into a sun shape)
And Incy-Wincy spider climbed up the spout again.
(Touch your left index finger to your right thumb, then swap back and forth to turn your hands into spiders)

Here is the beehive

Here is the beehive. Where are the bees?
(Hold up fist)
Hidden away where nobody sees.
(Move other hand around fist)
Watch and you’ll see them come out of the hive
(Bend head close to fist)
Here are the bee hives
(Left hand cupped downward)
Where are the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees.
(Hide fingers of right hand under it)
Soon they’ll come creeping
(Fingers come out one by one)
Out of the hives
One, two, three, four, five.
(Hold fingers up one at a time)
Bzzzzzzzz… all fly away!
(Wave fingers around)