Finger and hand play A-F

A caterpillar crawled

A chubby little snowman

A crocodile swam in the water

A hedgehog is very prickly

A little child’s walk

A little fish was swimming

A little green frog

A speckled green frog

A mouse lives in a little hole

Alligator, alligator long and green

Animals up the hill

Bear in a cave

Bugs are neat

Dance, Thumbkin, dance

Dance your fingers up

Dig a little hole.

Down in the grass, curled up in a heap

Fee, fi, fo, fum, see my fingers

Fingers like to wiggle waggle

Fingers, thumbs and toes

Five little mice on the pantry floor

Fuzzy little caterpillar

Last updated: 6/6/2017 4:17 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled,

illustrated and with music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

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To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:

 

© Dany Rosevear 2013 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

·       you must give the original author credit

·       you may not use this work for commercial purposes

·       for any re-use or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work

·       any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder

Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.


 

 

A caterpillar crawled 🔊

 

 


A Springtime finger play while learning about metamorphosis and change.

 

1.  Creep fingers up one arm. 2. Place one hand over opposite fist. 3. Twirl finger round. 4. Put hands to cheek. 5. Put hand to mouth. 5. Open hands near eyes, draw sun in a circle. 6. . Spread fingers, hook thumbs then flap hands to fly away .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A caterpillar crawled to the top of a tree,

“I think I’ll take a nap,” says he.

So under a leaf he began to creep

To spin his cocoon, then he fell asleep.

All winter long he slept in his bed,

‘Til spring came along one day and said,

“Wake up, wake up, little sleepyhead,

Wake up, it’s time to get out of bed!”

So, he opened his eyes that sunshiny day,

Wow! He was a butterfly, and flew away!

 


 

 

 

A chubby little snowman O

 

 


Finger play for a snowy day!

 

1.  Hold arms in a circle to make a fat tummy 2. With the left hand make a fist with the thumb sticking out 3. Make a bunny with bent fingers of the right hand, make it hop

4. Turn palms upward and shrug in disbelief 5. Rub tummy 6. Hand to eyes and look around 7. Make the bunny hand hop towards the snowman hand 8. Bunny eats the carrot with two small bites and then one big bite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A chubby little snowman, had a carrot nose.

Along came a bunny, and what do you suppose?

That hungry little bunny, looking for his lunch;

Ate that snowman's carrot nose

Nibble, nibble, CRUNCH!

 


 

 

 

A crocodile swam in the water O

 

 


Be patient and there may well be an answer to your problems!

 

1. Make swimming motions 2. Arms open like a crocodile’s mouth. 3. Place on hand on top of the other with thumbs out and turning. 4. Move hands up and down. 5. Arms close. 6. Put hands to cheek. 7. Arms open. 8. Place hands as in 3 and wiggle away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A crocodile swam in the water,

His mouth was open wide,

A fish swam along in the water,

And he swam right inside.

 

The crocodile's jaws shut tight,

The fish slept inside all night,

The crocodile yawned in the morning light...

And the fish swam away out of sight!

 


 

 

A  hedgehog is very prickly  O

 

 


Add new verses and actions such as: A spider is very tickly, A baby is very cuddly, A frog is very jumpy.

Sing this to the tune of ‘One finger and thumb keep moving’; words gby Sue Nichols.

 

1.  Interlace hands with fingers up. 2. Place one hand on top of the other, make thumbs’ swim’. 3. Open and close palms of hand. 4. Open and close thumb and forefinger. 5. Move arm like a snake. 6. Wiggle finger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A hedgehog is very prickly,

A hedgehog is very prickly,

A hedgehog is very prickly,

It couldn’t be anything else!

 

A fish is very slippery,

A fish is very slippery,

A fish is very slippery,

It couldn’t be anything else!

 

A crocodile’s very snappy,

A crocodile’s very snappy,

A crocodile’s very snappy,

It couldn’t be anything else!

 

A crab is very nippy,

A crab is very nippy,

A crab is very nippy,

It couldn’t be anything else!

 

A snake is very hissy,

A snake is very hissy,

A snake is very hissy,

It couldn’t be anything else!

 

A worm is very wiggly,

A worm is very wiggly,

A worm is very wiggly,

It couldn’t be anything else!

 


 

 

A little child’s walk  🔊

 

 


Or ‘A little boy’s walk” A hand play from Emilie Poulssen’s ‘Finger-play for nursery and kindergarten’ published 1889, with beautifully illustrated with hand movements.

 

Find instructions at:  https://archive.org/details/fingerplaysfornu00poulrich .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A little child went walking,

One lovely summer day,

S/he saw a little rabbit

That quickly hopped away;

S/he saw a shining river

Go winding in and out,

And little fishes in it,

Were swimming all about.

 

And slowly slowly turning,

The great wheel of the mill

And then the tall church steeple,

The little church so still;

The bridge above the water,

And when s/he stopped to rest,

S/he saw among the bushes

A wee ground sparrow’s nest.

 

And as s/he watched the birdies

Above the tree tops fly,

S/he saw the clouds a-sailing

Across the sunny sky.

S/he saw the insects playing;

The flowers that summer brings;

S/he said, “I’ll go tell mamma!

I’ve seen so many things!”

 


 

 

A little fish was swimming 🔊

 

 


This hand play requires a little dexterity! The emphasis is on comparative size.

From ‘Sing a song One’ published 1978 by ILEA. Dany Rosevear added the music.

 

1. One finger of left hand, fore finger and thumb of right hand. Right hand swallows left and then swims on. 2. Fore finger and thumb of right hand,  fore finger, middle finger and thumb of left hand. Left hand swallows left and then swims on. 3. Huge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


A little fish was swimming,

When another came along.

He swallowed up that little fish,

And carried swimming on.

 

That other fish was swimming,

When a big fish came along.

He swallowed up that other fish,

And carried swimming on.

 

That big fish was swimming,

When a huge fish came along.

He swallowed up that big fish,

And carried swimming on.

 

That huge fish was swimming,

When a whale came along.

He swallowed up that huge fish,

And carried swimming on.

 


 

 

A little green frog

 

 


This hand play game can also be used as a baby bouncing game.

 

1. Use hand for the leaf and forefinger of the other hand for the frog 2. Place on hand on top of the other with thumbs out and turning to make fish swim 3. Clap hands for the splash and throw out hands for the splash 4. Hop as before.

 

A little green frog in a pond am I;

Hoppity, hoppity, hop.

I sit on a little leaf, high and dry

And watch all the fishes as they swim by -

Splash! How I make the water fly!

Hoppity, hoppity, hop.

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

A mouse lives in a little hole O

 

 


Keep mouse safe from the cat.

 

1. Wiggle thumb and pop it in closed fist 2. Cover fist with other hand 3.&4. Lower voice and put finger to mouth 5. Thumb pops out 6. Thumb ‘creeps’ in palm of hand, beckon 7. Thumb ‘creeps’ in palm of hand, indicate cat’s whiskers 8. Throw out hand, look puzzled 9. Cover ‘mouse’ in fist.

 

 


A mouse lives in a little hole,

Lives softly in a little hole.

When all is quiet as quiet can be,

Out pops he!

Creep, little mouse, come along to me,

Creep, little mouse, I’ve got cake for tea.

Puss, Puss, Puss, Puss, where is the little mouse?

Safe, safe, safe, safe in his little house!

 


 

 

 

Alligator, alligator long and green

 

 


Talk about the difference between crocodiles and alligators and where they live.

 

Move arms up and down, stroke length of arm. Repeat with fingers like teeth. Hands snap the air in different directions. Shake finger and point to self.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alligator, alligator,

Long and green.

Alligator, alligator,

Teeth so mean;

Snapping at a fly,

Snapping at a bee,

Snapping at a frog,

But you can’t catch me!

 


 

 

 

Animals up the hill

 

 


A folk hand play game from Malaysia.

We lived as a family in Kuala Lumpur in the 1950s but sadly we did not learn any Malayan rhymes and songs when we were there.

 

Turtle: Slow fingers creep up arm. Rabbit:  Finger rabbit ears bounce up arm Elephant: Fist thumps up arm. Snake: Fingers slither up arm. Rock: Fingers bounce down arm and land in hand. Finish with a clap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here goes the turtle up the hill,

Creepy, creepy, creepy, creepy.

Here goes the rabbit up the hill,

Boing, boing, boing, boing.

Here goes the elephant up the hill,

Thud, thud, thud, thud.

Here goes the snake up the hill,

Slither, slither, slither, slither.

Here comes a rock DOWN the hill,

Boom, boom, boom, boom, CRASH!

 


 

 

Bear in a cave 🔊

 

 


A hand play for winter.

 

1. Cup hand to make a cave, thumb inside is the bear. 2. Pop thumb up.

3. Fan self. 4. Circle eyes with thumbs and forefingers, pretend to eat.

5. Hands fall like snow, bear returns to cave. 6. Flutter snow down over cave.

7. Open hand to show sleeping bear and the close it.8. Hands push snow aside. Pop thumb up out of ‘cave’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Here is a cave, inside is a bear,

Now he comes out to get some fresh air.

He stays out all summer in the sunshine and heat,

Hunting in the forest for berries to eat.

 

When snow starts to fall, he hurries inside

To his warm little cave, and there he will hide.

Snow covers the cave like a fluffy white rug,

But inside the bear sleeps, all cosy and snug.

 

When Spring comes again, the snow melts away,

And out comes the bear, all ready to play!

 


 

 

 

Bugs are neat O

 

 


A rhyme by Ann Smith who wrote several bugs poems and rhymes for ‘Bugs Bugs Bugs! Resource Kit’ an early learning programme for Museum Victoria in Melbourne, Australia:  https://museumvictoria.com.au/pages/2085/bugs-bugs-bugs-rhymes-music.pdf.

Tune arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

Line .1 Put up one thumb and then the other. 2. Run fingers over back of hand. 3. Run fingers up palm of hand and up arm. Link thumbs and flap hands. 4. Run fingers very fast up arm and over back of head. 5. Hold up six fingers. 6. Interlace fingers, turn upside down and wiggle. 7. Point to eyes then make four fingers on each hand scuttle. 8. Wiggle forefingers then hide hands behind the back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Bugs are neat, bugs are sweet,

Bugs are small and tickly,

Some can crawl and some can fly

And some can run so quickly.

Beetles always have six legs,

Millipedes have many,

Spiders have eight eyes, eight legs

But earthworms don’t have any!


 

 

 

Dance, Thumbkin, dance O

 

Make fingers dance individually and together.

 It is more fun for a young child if individual fingers are marked with faces or draw faces on sticky circles.

 

1.     Wiggle thumb 2. Make all fingers dance.

Do the same for subsequent fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dance, Thumbkin, dance,

Dance, Thumbkin, dance,

Thumbkin cannot dance alone,

So dance, you merry men, every one,

Dance, Thumbkin, dance.

 

Dance, Pointer, dance,

Dance, Pointer, dance,

For Pointer cannot dance alone,

So dance, you merry men, every one,

Dance, Pointer, dance.

 

Dance, Tallman, dance…

Dance, Ringman, dance…

Dance, Baby, dance…

 


 

 

Dance your fingers up O

 

 


Get those fingers moving.

Simple tune and arrangement by Dany Rosevear.

 

Make fingers dance as the words suggest! Put hands to the cheek on the last line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dance your fingers up,

Dance your fingers down,

Dance your fingers to the side,

Dance them all around.

 

Dance them on your shoulders,

Dance them on your head,

Dance them on your tummy,

And put them all to bed.


 

 

Dig a little hole 🔊

 

 


A simple hand play to accompany gardening projects.

Music arranged by Dany Rosevear based on Incy Wincy Spider.

 

1.  Make digging movements. 2. Drop seed into cupped hand.. 3. Pour water. 4. Pull and throw away. 5. Make chasing motion with hands. 6. Shade eyes and shoo with other hand. 7. Circle arms above head. 8. Hands grow upwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Dig a little hole.

Plant a little seed

Pour on a little water.

Pull a little weed.

Chase a little bug.

Heigh-ho, there he goes.

Give a little sunshine.

Watch it grow, grow, grow.


 

 

 

Down in the grass, curled up in a heap O

 

 


A hand rhyme for the summer when snakes are lazing in the sunshine.

 

Children’s BBC used the rhyme on 27th July 1987 as ‘Down in the grass, curled up in a heap, Lies a great big dragon, fast asleep…’

 

Rest one arm on the table and put thumb and fingertips together to represent the snake’s head. Move arm as suggested by the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Down in the grass, curled up in a heap,

Lies a big snake, fast asleep.

When he hears the grass blow,

He moves his body to and fro.

Up and down and in and out,

See him slowly move about.

Now his jaws are open so,

Snap! He’s caught my finger! Oh

 


 

 

Fee, fi, fo, fum, see my fingers

 

A little dexterity is needed for this game as the thumb touches each finger.

 

1. Touch each finger with the thumb 2. Hold up four fingers. 3. Hold up thumb. 4.  Touch each finger with the thumb again. 5. Wave fingers and curl downwards. 6. Wiggle thumb and tuck into fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fee, fi, fo, fum,

See my fingers,

See my thumb.

Fee, fi, fo, fum,

Good-bye fingers,

And good-bye thumb.

 


 

Fingers like to wiggle waggle O

 

Learn to follow simple positional directions with this nursery favourite for the very young.

 

Wiggle fingers as suggested by the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Wiggle, waggle, wiggle, waggle,

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Right in front of me.

 

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Wiggle, waggle, wiggle, waggle,

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

High above my head.

 

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Wiggle, waggle, wiggle, waggle,

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Right down to the floor.

 

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Wiggle, waggle, wiggle, waggle,

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Right out to the sides.

 

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Wiggle, waggle, wiggle, waggle,

Fingers like to wiggle, waggle,

Right in front of me.

 


 

 

Fingers, thumbs and toes 🔊

 

 


Identify different parts of the body.

This came from ‘New nursery jingles’ by Elizabeth Barnard 1939. Adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear. The original version had ‘Have you got all those?’ which can still be sung but you might need to be sensitive to disabilities in your group of children.

 

Point to each part of the body as it is sung, last line wag finger. Repeat and then nod.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fingers, thumbs and toes;

Eyes and ears and nose;

Lips and chin;

Hair and skin;

Can you find all those?

 

Fingers, thumbs and toes;

Eyes and ears and nose;

Lips and chin;

Hair and skin;

Yes, we can find all those?

 


 

 

 

Five little mice on the pantry floor 🔊

 

 


A hand play by Emiile Poulsson. Music by Cornelia C. Roeske.

Arranged and adapted by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Five fingers of left hand scurry on right. 2. Put right hand to brow. 3. Put fingers on raised right hand. 4. Open and close thumbs and forefingers. 5. Thumbs and forefingers make circles round eyes, stroke whiskers. 6. Right hand pounces, left hides behind back.7. Hands on hips.8. Cross hands to chest, show five fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Five little mice on the pantry floor,

Seeking for bread-crumbs or something more;

Five little mice on the shelf up high,

Feasting so daintily on a pie.

 

But the big round eyes of the wise old cat

See what the five little mice are at.

Quickly she jumps! But the mice run away,

And hide in their snug little holes all day.

 

“Feasting in pantries may be very nice;

But home is the best!” say the five little mice.

 


 

 

 

Fuzzy little caterpillar O

 

 


Wonder at the metamorphism of the caterpillar to a butterfly.

Words by Emilie Poulsson from ‘Finger Plays for Nursery and Kindergarten’. Music by June Tillman from ‘Kokoleoko’

 

Verse 1: Move hand forwards with thumb outstretched. Hide thumb in fist. Hand to eyes. Throw hands out.  Verse 2: Curl other hand round fist and squeeze. Roll forefingers round. Rotate thumb. Put hands to cheek. Verse 3: Move fist round. Poke thumb through fist. Hands back to back and flap. Cross hands and fly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Fuzzy little caterpillar

Crawling, crawling on the ground!

Fuzzy little caterpillar,

Nowhere, nowhere to be found,

Though we've looked and looked and hunted

Everywhere around!

 

When the little caterpillar

Found his furry coat too tight,

Then a snug cocoon he made him

Spun of silk so soft and light;

Rolled himself away within it -

Slept there day and night.

 

See how this cocoon is stirring!

Now a little head we spy -

What! Is this our caterpillar?

Spreading gorgeous wings to dry?

Soon the free and happy creature

Flutters gaily by.

 

 

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