top of page

fingerplays & rhymes with our littles!

Monday, February 20th, 2023

Happy Presidents Day! We hope you had a lovely weekend!

In honor of today’s holiday, we have a Presidents Day joke for you and your Littles,

compliments of - this was our favorite of the bunch found there!

Perhaps you may be spending part of the day with your Littles

since many have the day off from school.

If so, be sure to check out last week’s Household Happies post for some fun ideas!

Today, Laurie shares her repertoire of fingerplays and rhymes

and offers suggestions for enjoying them with your Littles of all ages!

One of the greatest things we can do for our Littles is to provide them with love.

A great way to do this is through loving touch

that helps their mental and physical well-being.

Kids learn how much we love them from our hugs, kisses, back rubs, etc.……..

Why does it feel so good to have someone rub or scratch one’s back? It causes the brain to release serotonin. Serotonin helps to stabilize your mood and to elevate your feelings of happiness and well-being. It even helps with the function of your digestive system and sleep cycles! We all know that feeling as our body relaxes and our eyes close when someone is rubbing our back

Why not use the power of touch

to enforce the joy of language and rhythm with your Little!

Let’s combine them to create a joyful connection!

Here are some of my top interactive rhymes that I have LOVED doing not only with the many Littles in my life through the years, but my kindergarten students as well. They can all be done as chants so don’t worry if you are not comfortable singing!

(Note: In school we did these first 2 with a partner)

Treasure Hunt

(Little sits with back to you)

Going on a treasure hunt, a very important treasure hunt (march fingers up back)

X marks the spot, a circle and a dot (draw a big X, a circle and a soft dot with pointer finger)

Creepy, crawlies (wiggle fingers up back)

Tight squeeze (squeeze shoulders)

Cool breeze (blow on neck)

And now you’ve got the shivers (scratch back softly)

Criss Cross Applesauce

(Little sits with back to you)

Criss cross applesauce (draw an X on Little’s back)

Spiders creeping up your back (walk your fingers up back)

Spiders creeping down your back (walk your fingers down back)

Elephants marching up your back (make fists and gently march them up)

Elephants marching down your back (march fists down)

Cool breeze (blow on Little’s neck)

Tight squeeze (wrap arms around Little and hug)

Tickle, tickle tickle! (wherever you would like!)

I was introduced to these next 2 chants when I attended my first Early Childhood Family Education class with my then 1 year old daughter over 30 years ago!. We all sat in a circle and used these as a way to welcome every Little to class each week.

Now Little D is doing them in her ECFE class, and she loves to do them with her family members!! Your family and/or friends can sit in a circle and go around the circle using everyone’s name. Little D’s eyes light up when we use the names of the people she loves!

Looking Through the Window

It is fun to have a “frame” made out of tagboard or paper

that the person looks through. Or make one with your fingers!

Looking through the window, who do I see?

I see (name) looking at me!

I also made this into a game for Little D!

I ran pictures of important people and pets in her life, glued them on paper,

and made a small window attached to a popsicle stick.

She puts the window on someone’s face and we sing about that person or pet!

Welcome Chant

(Name) is here today, (tap legs in a steady beat)

(Name) is here today,

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay (roll arms around each other)

(Name)!! (throw arms up in the air)

These next couple are probably familiar and especially fun with your littlest Littles!

From birth on up!

But don’t underestimate how much your toddlers and preschoolers will love them too!

The Eensy Weensy Spider

The eensy weensy spider (creep fingers up Little from toes to head)

Crawled up the water spout

Down came the rain (gently flutter your fingers from head to toes)

And washed the spider out

Out came the sun (make a circle with your hands and smile at Little through it)

And dried up all the rain

And the eensy weensy spider crawled up the spout again! (creeping fingers again!)

This Little Piggy

Most of us know this classic but have forgotten how much Littles love to have their sweet little toes wiggled as each little piggie!

This little piggy went to the market,

This little piggy stayed home,

This little piggy had roast beef,

This little piggy had none,

And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home. (tickle up the legs)

Round and Round the Garden

(sit facing your Little)

Round and round the garden goes the teddy bear

(hold Littles’s hand palm up in yours - use your pointer finger to go around and round in a


One step, two steps, (use your fingers to step up Little's arm)

Tickle under there (tickle Little under arm, in tummy, wherever you would like)

(Your Littles will love to do this one to you, too!)

Let me know if you would like more ideas!

I have many, many more I would love to share with you!

If you can’t believe fantastic children’s author Mem Fox, who can you believe?!

I grew up with a mom who sang and chanted nursery rhymes to me all the time!

As educators, Laura and I have heard over and over

how important rhymes are for developing language skills in children.!

Nursery rhymes help children develop vocabulary. The bouncy rhythm catches the child's attention. Repetition and familiarity help the child to comprehend and both support language development. Nursery rhymes generally tell a story complete with a beginning, middle and end, and the content is generally silly and attractive to kids! With so much research that supports the introduction of nursery rhymes in early childhood education, I was surprised every year in school by children who had never heard Humpty Dumpty or Jack and Jill!

Do your Littles a favor…

fill their lives with rhymes and chants!

You can find Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme books anywhere. Some people find Mother Goose a bit violent or offensive. I found this delightful version, a book from Wonderbly Books and gifted it to LIttle D.

It uses her name and makes her the hero in each gentle, happy nursery rhyme!

Next Monday (February 27th), we will be sharing about becoming a grandparent and all the fun and excitement that comes with that!!

In the meantime, remember that you can find also us posting regularly

Keep singing, chanting and reading!

You will help your Littles soar in reading and language development

while creating memories that will last a lifetime!!

Thank you for reading and being a part of Our Grand Lives!


bottom of page