Fingerplay songs are great for the classroom or at home. In fact, they are great for anytime and anywhere, because the only ‘equipment’ you need is your hands. Kids love to see their hands transformed as they perform the actions. Fingerplay activities engage the creative mind and help with fine motor skill development. And, it’s fun!
Here are five super simple fingerplay songs we think you’ll love:
5. Open Shut Them
This is a classic kids’ song that has been around for a long time. We use our version from Super Simple Songs 3 for teaching opposites. Our simplified lyrics teach opposite pairs such as open and shut, big and small, please / no, thank you, fast and slow, and loud and quiet. And you can use the classroom version to add your own combinations.
4. Rock, Scissors, Paper
Based on a song popularly used in Japanese kindergartens, “Rock, Scissors, Paper” from Super Simple Songs 2 is great for using your imagination to come up with all kinds of fun combinations. This song also helps teach left and right. Using just the three symbols of rock (fist), scissors (two fingers extended) or paper (hand open with fingers extended), make various foods, animals and other common objects.
3. Wheels on the Bus
This song can be sung over and over. As with all of these favorite fingerplay songs, there are many versions out there. “Wheels on the Bus” is extra fun with so many verses. This song can be done as a fingerplay, or, if space is available, act it out with chairs, a bus driver and passengers, like in this video from Ms. Lucky in Hong Kong.
2. Five Little Monkeys
Those monkeys are at it again, jumping on the bed and refusing to go to sleep. Kids can relate to this song, and are sure to giggle at the idea. We had to update our hand actions though. Growing up, we learned to dial the doctor, but nowadays, most kids have never seen a rotary phone. They punch in the numbers on a cell phone!
1. Eensey Weensey Spider
Some people say “itsy bitsy”, some people say “incy wincy”, but no matter how you say it, hands down (pardon the pun), our favorite fingerplay song is the “Eensey Weensey Spider.” This song is a staple in classrooms and homes worldwide. Besides learning about the spider, practice weather words like rain and sun.
Here’s Jeremy-sensei doing our version of the “Eensey Weensey Spider” (available on the Super Simple Songs – Video Collection – Vol. 1 DVD)
Remember that you can turn any of your favorite movement and music songs into fingerplay activities. For example, we love singing Walking Walking while moving around the room, but it’s a nice change of pace to sit and do it with our fingers from time to time. Give it a try!
What are your favorite fingerplays?