Finger and hand play J-N

Johnny Puppet dances

Lirum, larum, Little Thumbkin, dance!

Little bird, little bird, flaps its wings

Little brown seeds

Little fishes swim along

Little robin redbreast sat upon a rail

Little robin redbreast sat upon a tree

Little seeds

Look at the terrible crocodile

Magpie was sitting on the stove

Merry little raindrops

Mister Turkey and Mister Duck

Mrs Mouse was cooking rice

Mrs Pussy’s dinner

My hands upon my head I’ll place

Last updated: 6/12/2018 3:38 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled,

illustrated and music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

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.


 

 

 

Johnny Puppet dances O

 

Unlike many songs for children this one is in the minor key.

Use the forefinger and thumb to dance on the named body part.

Once children are familiar with this song dance fingers on other parts of the body.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little Johnny dances,

On my thumb he dances.

On my thumb, thumb, thumb,

Johnny Puppet dances.

 

Little Johnny dances,

On my arm he dances.

On my arm, arm, arm, arm,

On my thumb, thumb, thumb,

Johnny Puppet dances.

 

Little Johnny dances,

On my head he dances.

On my head, head, head,

On my thumb, thumb, thumb,

Johnny Puppet dances.


 

 

Lirum, larum, Little Thumbkin, dance! O

 

 


This is said to be a traditional German children’s game though I have yet to find the original in that language. It is most probably a song developed in the U.S.A. from people of German stock.

 

Wiggle fingers individually and then together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Lirum, larum, Little Thumbkin, dance!

Lirum, larum, Little Thumbkin, dance!

Other fingers keep quite still,

Waiting, waiting patiently.

Little Thumbkin, dance!

 

Lirum, larum, Pointer Finger, dance! etc.

 

Lirum, larum, Tall Man, Tall Man, dance! etc.

 

Lirum, larum, Ring Man, Ring Man, dance!

 

Lirum, larum, Little Finger, dance! etc.

Lirum, larum, Every finger dance!

Lirum, larum, Every finger dance!

No more fingers keeping still,

No one waiting patiently,

Every finger dance!


 

 

Little brown seeds 🔊

 

 


A Spring hand play about new plant life.

 

1. Hold out palm, forefinger and thumb hold seeds. 2. Place hands to cheek then finger to lips. 3. Move fingers downwards. 4. Shape rainbow and shoot out fingers. 5. As 1. Then point down. 6. Finger ‘grows’ through fist. 7. Shape leaves with thumbs and forefingers, pop up fingers one at a time. 8. Rest head on hands, look up then shape sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little brown seeds so small and round,

Are sleeping quietly underground.

Down come the raindrops,

sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle.

Out comes the rainbow,

twinkle, twinkle, twinkle.

Little brown seeds way down below,

Up through the earth they grow, grow, grow.

Little green leaves come one by one,

They hold up their heads and look at the sun.

 


 

 

Little bird, little bird, flaps its wings 🔊

 

 

 


A seasonal hand play with music, words and hand play by Dany Rosevear. Make up your own verses or encourage the children to do so.

It can also so be played as an action game if more lively activity is needed.

 

Verse 1. Cross hands at wrists and flap them. Move hands high. 2. Show claws, look fierce and growl. Roll arms around each other. 3. Hold out palm and make fingers of the other hand dance like a little lamb jumping. 4. Cross forefingers and make them fly around, place one finger on the palm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little bird, little bird, flaps its wings,

Flaps its wings, flaps its wings,

Little bird, little bird, flaps its wings,

And flies away in the morning.

 

Little bear, little bear, growls at me,

Growls at me, growls at me,

Little bear, little bear, growls at me,

Then tumbles down the snowy hillside.

 

Little lamb, little lamb, skips for joy,

Skips for joy, skips for joy,

Little lamb, little lamb, skips for joy,

And skips away in the Springtime.

 

Little bee, little bee, buzzes by,

Buzzes by, buzzes by,

Little bee, little bee, buzzes by,

Then sits on a flower in the sunshine.

 


 

 

 

Little fishes swim along 🔊

 

 


This sea themed rhyme was written by Steve Grocott. Find out more about his musical activities for children ‘Bright Sparks’, workshops and delightful CDs at: http://www.dronesmusic.net/page.php?pageid=childrens.

Music and hand play by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Cross and more forefingers to make little fish swim. 2. Place one hand on top of the other with thumbs out and move from side to side. 3. Move hands, palms facing, up and down like sharks jaws. 4. Arms make shape of whale, throw up hands to make it spout. 5. Chant: Point down, shake finger and put hands to cheek. Cross forefingers as before and shoot off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little fishes swim along,

Flipper flapper, flipper flapper.

Bigger fishes sing this song,

Swish, swash, swish, swash.

After them there comes a shark

Snap! Snap!

And the great big whale goes Blow! Whoosh!

SPOKEN:

Deep in the deep,

The shark never sleeps,

Little fishes swim away,

For to live another day. Hooray!

 


 

 

 

Little Robin Redbreast sat upon a rail  O

 

 


Two little robin hand rhymes that work well together.

Melody by Dany Rosevear.

 

Rhyme 1: Shape right hand like a bird on the extended forefinger of the left hand. Nod hand up and down. Waggle little finger of the right hand from side to side.

Rhyme 2: Cross wrists and flap hands. Open and close forefinger to make beak ‘talk’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little Robin Redbreast

Sat upon a rail;

Niddle, noddle went his head,

Wiggle, waggle went his tail.

 

Little Robin Redbreast

Came to visit me;

This is what he whistled,

“Thank you for my tea.”


 

 

 

Little robin redbreast sat upon a tree O

 

Britain’s favourite bird features in this action song.

You will need to make up your own actions for the second verse or watch the video!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Little robin redbreast sat upon a tree,

Raise one hand high.

Up went pussy cat and down went he!

Hand two creeps up and first comes down.

Down came pussy cat, away robin ran,

Hand two comes down, hand one creeps away.

Said little robin redbreast, Pause

"Catch me if you can!"

 

Little robin redbreast jumped upon a spade,

Pussy cat jumped after him, and then he was afraid.

Little robin chirped and sang and what did pussy say?

Pussy cat said "Meow", and robin flew away.

 


 

 

Little seeds 🔊

 

 


A hand play for Spring to illustrate the life cycle.

Words by Lucille F. Wood and music by Louise B. Scott from ‘Singing fun’ first published 1962.

 

Enclose fist with the other hand. Put hands to cheek. Wiggle widespread fingers. Fingers move downwards. Hands make waves. Forefinger appears out of closed hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Seeds are buried deep, deep, deep;

In the soil they sleep, sleep, sleep.

Yellow sunbeams bright, bright, bright;

Raindrops falling light, light, light;

Gentle breezes blow, blow, blow;

Little seeds begin to grow.

 


 

 

 

Look at the terrible crocodile O

 

A game played in pairs.

One child opens and closes the palms of their hands as the second child places one hand on top of the other and sticks thumbs out to swim like a fish. On the third line the ‘crocodile’ opens jaws wide – arms open and close. The ‘fishy’ inches nearer but on the last line swims away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Look at the terrible crocodile,

I-oh, I-oh, I-oh.

He’s swimming down the river Nile,

I-oh, I-oh, I-oh.

See how his jaws are open wide,

I-oh, I-oh, I-oh.

A poor little fishy is swimming inside…….

Spoken

Oh no he isn’t, he’s swimming the other way!

Sung

I-oh, I-oh, I-oh.

 


 

 

Magpie was sitting on the stove

 

 


This is an Ukranian finger play and versions of it can be found in Russian, Polish and other Eastern European countries. I came across it on a Russian blog: http://badmama.com.ua/2016/02/15/stishki-i-poteshki-dlya-malyshej/. Find it in Ukranian at: https://www.mamalisa.com/?t=es&p=1068.

This rhyme might appear a little mean to western European sensibilities: you can find a gentler English fingerplay with a similar theme: ‘Mrs Mouse was cooking rice’ further down the page.

 

1. Pretend to spit in palm and stir with the finger. 2. Fold each finger down in turn starting with the thumb. 3. When little finger is reached waggle it and tap each time misdemeanor is mentioned. 4. On last line tickle tummy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magpie was sitting on the stove,

Cooking porridge for the children;

I’ll give some to this one,

I’ll give some to this one,

I’ll give some to this one,

I’ll give some to this one,

But I won't give it to this one

Because this one:

Didn't chop the wood,

Didn't make the dough,

Didn't go for water,

Didn't look after the children,

Didn't do anything!

And the one who doesn't work -

Doesn't eat!

 


 

 

Merry little raindrops 🔊

 

 


From ‘Rhymes for little hands’ by Maud Burnham published in 1906.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Place palms up right together. 2. Raise fingers then allow to droop. 3. Fingers wiggle downwards. 4. Drum fingers on a surface. 5. Form circle overhead, wiggle fingers down and then behind back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


When the flowers are thirsty

And the grass is dry,

Merry little raindrops

Tumble from the sky.

All around they patter

In their happy play,

Till the bright warm sunshine

Chases them away!

 


 

 

Mister Turkey and Mister Duck O

 

 


Also suitable for younger ones at Thanksgiving time.

 

1. Hide hands behind the back 2. Bring out left hand and put thumb and forefinger together.3. Do the same with the right hand. 4. Open and close thumb and forefinger for each ‘gobble’. 5.  Do the same for each ‘quack’ 6. Return hands behind back. 7. Right hand returns for a final ‘quack’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mister Turkey went out one day in bright sunshiny weather.

He met Mister Duck along the way; they stopped to talk together,

“Gobble, gobble, gobble!” “Quack, quack, quack!”

“Gobble, gobble, gobble!” “Quack, quack, quack!”

And then they both went back! "Quack!"

 


 

 

Mrs Mouse was cooking rice

 

 


I have only come across this finger play on a Russian blog: http://badmama.com.ua/2016/02/15/stishki-i-poteshki-dlya-malyshej/ .

It is apparently very similar to a Russian / Polish / Ukranian finger play ‘Magpie, magpie’.

 

1. Pretend to stir child’s palm. 2. Fold each finger down in turn starting with the thumb. 3. When little finger is reached pause then run fingers up the arm and gently tickle under the armpit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mrs Mouse was cooking rice for her little babies.

She gave some to this little one, YUM, YUM, YUM!

She gave some to this little one, YUM, YUM, YUM!

She gave some to this little one, YUM, YUM, YUM!

She gave some to this little one, YUM, YUM, YUM!

But when she got to this little one…

She ran to the shop to get some more!

 


 

 

Mrs Pussy’s dinner 🔊

 

 


Initially I came across this inLittle primary pieces for wee folks to speak’ published in 1868. Later it was taken up by Emilie Poulssen as a finger play and set to music by Corelia C Roeske.

 

Verse 1. Put thumb up for cat and fingers for mice, curl up fingers. 2. Put hand to ears, open fingers, hand to eyes. 3. Fingers creep, left hand thumb hides in hole of other fist. 4. Put hands to hip, make roof of barn with hands and arms, cross hands at wrists and make them fly. 5. Show thumb then four fingers, throw out hands, fly swallows, cup hands for nest. 6. Show thumb and fingers rub tummy, circle thumbs and forefingers. 7. Nod and run finger, throw out handss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mrs. Pussy, sleek and fat,

With her kittens four,

Went to sleep upon the mat

By the kitchen door.

 

Mrs. Pussy heard a noise,

Up she jumped in glee:

"Kittens, maybe that's a mouse!

Let us go and see!"

 

Creeping, creeping, creeping on,

Silently they stole;

But the little mouse had gone

Back into its hole.

 

"Well," said Mrs. Pussy then,

"To the barn we'll go;

We shall find the swallows there

Flying to and fro."

 

So the cat and kittens four

Tried their very best;

But the swallows flying fast

Safely reached the nest!

 

Home went hungry Mrs. Puss,

And her kittens four;

Found their dinner on a plate

By the kitchen door.

 

As they gathered round the plate,

They agreed 'twas nice

That it could not run away,

Like the birds and mice!

 


 

 

 

My hands upon my head I'll place 🔊

 

 


A nursery song from the 1950s.

It is fascinating to find so many different versions of this song on the internet, all grown from the original in 1954 written by Louise B. Scott with music by Lucille F. Wood.

The essence of the song, however, remains as it has been passed from one nursery to another over the decades.

 

Move fingers and hands as suggested by the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


My hands upon my head I'll place,

Upon my shoulders, on my face,

At my waist, and by my side,

And then behind me they will hide.

Then I will raise them way up high

And let my fingers fly, fly, fly.

Then clap, clap, clap, and one, two, three…

Just see how quiet they can be.

 


Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page