Fun & Learning with Finger Plays

DSC_3291Why are finger plays great learning tools for young children?

  • Finger plays make a body-mind connection.
  • Most utilize music and rhythm, which helps build literacy.
  • Most utilize rhymes, which help with phonological awareness.
  • Many tell a story, and help children learn to organize their thoughts to tell a simple story/narrative themselves.
  • All utilize sequences and many utilize number sequences.
  • All encourage fine motor skill development.
  • They’re engaging and fun!

Two Little Robins (c) 2013 Liz Buchanan

You can have some fun with the traditional “Two Little Birdies” rhyme by adding different birds and animals and rhyming names.  You could also discuss consonant sounds by featuring the same initial consonant for the names, as I’ve done in my original version of the song, which you can download at this link:

Two little robins, sitting in the tree

One named Rob and one named Ree

Fly Away Rob, Fly away, Ree

Come back Rob, come back Ree.

Tweet tweet tweet…


Two little bunnies, sitting on the hill

One named Bob, one named Bill

Hop away Bob, Hop away, Bill

Come back Bob, Come back Bill.

Hop, hop, hop…


Two little fishies, swimming in the sea

One named Fred and one named Fee

Swim away Fred, swim away Fee

Come back Fred, come back Fee.

Glub glub glub glub, splash ….

For even more creatures for the song, click here. For a visual element beyond using your fingers, add stick puppets with the initial consonant. This video shows the hand motions and the stick puppets.

Here is the Bee Hive (Traditional)

Here is the beehive, where are the bees?

Hiding away where nobody sees

Watch them come creeping out of the hive

One and two and three four five!


See my video here:

Turn this finger play into a “supersize” activity by having children act out the parts of the bees. Expand movement vocabulary by changing the word “creeping” to jumping, dashing, bounding, leaping, fluttering and stomping.

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