Early Childhood Homeschooling Made Easy

Taking teaching and your child's future into your own hands.

Fingerplays for Young Kids

on September 7, 2012

A good way to get kids involved in activities is by singing short songs or rhymes that have easy hand movements.  Start out by doing the movements slowly so that the kids can watch to see what you are doing.  Try to get them to copy a few of your movements while all of you sing together.  Some of my favorite songs for fingerplays are:

  • Five Little Monkeys
  • The Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • Two Little Blackbirds
  • Where is Thumbkin

The more excited you are about doing the fingerplay, the more the kids will get excited.  Smile, laugh, and be energetic.  And most of all, have some fun.  There are some variations to these songs, but this is the way I sing them with my daughter and nephew.  If you do a search for these songs on the internet, or listen to them on a CD, they may be slightly different.

Five Little Monkeys

Five little monkeys

(hold up 5 fingers)

Jumping on the bed,

(jump fingers from one hand on the palm of other hand; or hold up 5 fingers and move them around)

One fell off

(hold up one finger)

And bumped his head

(rub head)

The mommy called the doctor

(hold hand to ear like a phone)

And the doctor said,

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

(point and shake finger)

(Continue with four, three, two, and one little monkey jumping on the bed.  End song with the wording below. )

So five little monkeys

(hold up 5 fingers)

Fell fast asleep

(put hands near head and tilt head to side like you’re sleeping)

Thank goodness said mama

Now I can sleep.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout

(put fingertips together and move your hands upward, moving them as if a spider is climbing up)

Down came the rain and washed the spider out

(let your fingers trickle down as though raining)

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

(hold your hands together over your head to make a circle like the sun)

And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

(put fingertips together and move your hands upward, moving them as if a spider is climbing up again)

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

(hold up one finger on each hand)

One named Jake and one named Jill

(wiggle one finger, then wiggle the other finger)

Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill

(put one finger behind your back, then the other finger behind your back)

Come back Jack, Come back Jill

(bring one finger back in front, bring the other finger back in front)

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill

(hold up one finger on each hand)

Goodbye Jack, Goodby Jill

(wave one finger side to side, then wave the other finger side to side)

Where is Thumbkin

Where is thumbkin? Where is thumbkin?

(hold hands behind your back)

Here I am, here I am.

(bring out one hand with thumb up, then the other hand with thumb up)

How are you today, sir?

(bend one thumb as though it is talking to the other thumb)

Very well, okay, sir.

(bend the other thumb as though it is replying to the first thumb)

Run away, run away.

(put one hand behind your back, then put the other hand behind your back)

These fingerplays are super easy for young kids and gets them involved.  If you want to see how the songs are supposed to look, there are videos on youtube.  I will be trying to add videos of how the songs are supposed to be done.  Please be patient while I get this site up and running.  If you host play groups, this is a great way to keep the kids entertained for awhile.  I also do fingerplays with my daughter before bed, before we read books.  I will be adding more fingerplays in the future, so please check back.

What is your favorite fingerplay for young kids?  Please feel free to share your favorite fingerplays with me.


One response to “Fingerplays for Young Kids

  1. Gertie says:

    Helpful information. Lucky me I found your website unintentionally, and I’m surprised why this coincidence didn’t happened in advance!

    I bookmarked it.

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