Finger and hand play T-Z1

Tiptoeing in the dark

The apple tree / Here is a tree with leaves so green

The earth needs the raindrops

The owl and the brownies

The rainbow

The snake charmer

The sun it rises

The waves on the sea

There was a hungry hunter

This little mountain

This little tiger is very wild

Tiny little bird

To the sky and back

Tommy Thumb

Tommy Thumb is up

Tortoise the brave

Two fat gentlemen

Two little blackbirds sitting in the snow

Two little blackbirds sitting in the sun

Two little dickie birds

Two little feet go tap tap tap

Two little houses

Two mother pigs

Up the tall white candlestick

Up to the ceiling, down to the floor

Where is Thumbkin?

Wild geese flying

Wiggle them, wiggle them

Last updated: 7/17/2018 2:40 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled,

illustrated and 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:

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·       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.



The apple tree / Here is a tree 🔊



A simple hand play for Autumn for the very young.


1. Put forearms together and spread hands. 2. Make hands into fists. 3. Move hands like the wind and fists tumble down with rolling arms. 4. Make a basket with hand, pick up apples and put them in the basket.































Here is a tree with leaves so green.

Here are the apples that hang in between.

When the wind blows the apples will fall,

And here is a basket to gather them all.






The earth needs the raindrops 🔊



A hand play to remind us we are all dependent on each other and the world around us.

Words by J. Kartsch and music by A. Wagner .


Verse 1. Draw a large circle with hands, make rain fall with fingers. Shade eyes. Hands open and close. Put hands to cheek. Verse 2. Arm and hand make a tree. Cup hand on thumb. Put crossed hands to heart.



























The earth needs the raindrops,

The day needs a light,

And heaven needs little stars

When the day turns to night.


The tree needs a little branch

Where the bird builds her nest,

And we need a little heart

To love and to trust.




The owl and the brownies 🔊



How quiet can you be?

Written by Maude Burnham  from ‘Rhymes for little hands’ published 1906. The music is by Lucille F. Wood and can be found in the classic ‘Singing Fun’ published in 1966.

Here it is adapted and arranged by Dany Rosevear.

Line 1. Place two fingers thumb of hand. 2. Put finger to lips. 3. Place thumb and forefingers round eyes. 4. Look around then shake finger. 5. Fingers run up arm. 6. Put finger to lips 7. Two forefingers make beak. 8. Fingers jump off arm, fly and hide behind back. 9. Place two fingers on the other arm. 10. Put finger to lips.
































An owl sat alone on the branch of a tree,

He was as quiet as quiet could be;

‘Twas night and his eyes were open like this!

He looked all around; not a thing did he miss!


Some brownies crept up to the branch of the tree,

And sat there quietly as still as could be;

Said the wise owl, “Too-whoo, Too-whoo!”

Then up jumped the brownies and away they all flew!


An owl sat alone on the branch of a tree,

He was as quiet as quiet could be.




The rainbow 🔊



Appreciate the wonder of our world - how a rainbow is made. Sing cheerfully.

Another from the words of Emilie Poulsson, music by Eleanor Smith.


Line 1. Make a big round shape, wiggle fingers downward. 2. Put hand to mouth. 3. Point upwards. 4. Make rain as before and wiggle fingers up for the sunshine. 5. Hands move outwards. 6. Sweep hands overhead.































Sun shining, rain falling,

And everyone calling,

Oh! Look at the glorious sky!

For shower and shining,

In beauty combining,

A rainbow have painted on high.




The snake charmer 🔊



This familiar piece of musicis  associated with belly dancing and has a number of titles including ‘The streets of Cairo’; you can also find children’s verses with inappropriate words! These words come from flute and piano tutors.


1. Hand and arm make a basket. 2. The other hand rests on arm through hole made. 3.Play pretend flute. 4. Snakes head rises, looks around, bends and sways.






























In a place I know,

A magician has a show;

In his basket deep

Lies a cobra fast asleep.

When the master plays a haunting sound,

It rises up and looks around,

It bends and sways

While the master’s music plays.





The sun it rises 🔊



A gentle had play to calm everyone or before bedtime. Discuss where the sun rises.

Can also be sung as a round.


Line 1. and 2. While sitting lift arms from lap in a rounded shape and move slowly from low left, overhead and then gently down on the right side. 3. and 4. Bring rounded arms up in front, open arms and wiggle fingers downwards in front to settle in lap.


























The sun it rises in the day,

And in the evening slips away.

The moon it comes up in the night,

And fades away in the morning light.




The waves on the sea 🔊



All at sea. A great one for accompanying with percussion as well as for actions, and you can easily add your own marine verses.


Line 1. Wave hands up and down. 2. Place hands together and swish from side to side. 3. Open and close hands. 4. Roll arms round each other. 5. With hands face down wiggle fingers. 6. Hands and arms make a leaping motion. 7. Pull an imaginary lever for each toot.



























The waves on the sea go up and down,

Up and down, up and down.

The waves on the sea go up and down,

All day long.


The fish in the sea go swish, swish, swish,

Swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish,

The fish in the sea go swish, swish, swish,

All day long.


The sharks in the sea go snap, snap, snap,

Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap,

The sharks in the sea go snap, snap, snap,

All day long.


The seals in the sea roll round and round,

Round and round, round and round,

The seals in the sea roll round and round,

All day long.


The jellyfish in the sea go wibble, wobble, wibble,

Wibble, wobble, wibble, wibble, wobble, wibble,

The jellyfish in the sea go wibble, wobble, wibble,

All day long.


The dolphins in the sea they dip and dive,

Dip and dive, dip and dive,

The dolphins in the sea they dip and dive,

All day long.


The boats on the sea go toot, toot, toot,

Toot, toot, toot, toot, toot, toot,

The boats on the sea go toot, toot, toot,

All day long.





There was a hungry hunter 🔊



This humorous and alliterative hand play is from ‘Acting rhymes’ by Clive Sansom published in the 1960s where it is suggested that a bear speaks line 5 and 6. The author is unknown. Dany Rosevear added the tune and the handplay below.


1-4. Rub tummy, put circled thumb and forefingers to eyes. Hold up fore finger and middle to make ears. 5-6. Rub tummy and look fierce. 7-8. Roll arms over each other and make two fingers run.



























There was a hungry hunter

Went hunting for a hare,

But where he hoped the hare would be

He found a hairy bear!


“I’m very very hungry:

I get hungry now and then.”


The hunter turned head-over-heels

And hurried home again.



This little mountain



This hand play is from John M. Feierabend’s collection ‘Wiggles and tickles’ published 1999. It can be played with baby wiggling fingers and drawing sun on palm or tummy, dotting rain with fingers and so on; or as below with older children.


Line 1. Touch thumb and make circle with thumbs and forefinger. 2. Touch forefinger and make rain fall with fingers. 3 .and 4. Touch middle finger then shade eyes and peer. 5. Touch ring finger then put hands to cheek. 6. Make a pointed cap above head. 7. And 8. Point to little finger and shape tree with palms together.


This little mountain finds the sun,

This little mountain drinks the rain,

This little mountain shades its eyes

And looks across the plain.

This little mountain is ready for bed

With a white cap on top of its head;

And this little mountain is up to its knees,

In so many wonderful Christmas trees!















This little tiger is very wild 🔊



Not too scary!

Tune by Dany Rosevear.


Start with the thumb and touch each finger in sequence. 1.Growl like a tiger.

2. Kiss second finger. 3. Draw stripes on middle finger. 4. Bend finger down.

5. Wiggle finger, circle round the palm of the other and sniff. Bite left hand with right.






























This little tiger is very wild,

This little tiger is a loving child.

This little tiger has big black stripes,

This little tiger is tucked up for the night.

This little tiger likes to prowl and smell,

But his teeth are too small to bite quite well.



Tiny little bird O



A Turkish song for winter, ‘Mini Mini Bir Kus’, melody and words by Saip Eguz.


Move thumb and forefinger like beak. Perch bird on other hand. Cup hands. Cover hand and open and close beak. Cross hands to make wings, flap and move upwards and away.  Throw out hands and look sad.



























Tiny, little bird was frozen stiff,

Sitting on my window sill.

Gently did I cradle him,

To make him warm and hear him sing.

Suddenly he flapped his little wings,

Off he flew in the wind and snow.

Mini Mini Bir Kus Donmustu

Pencereme konmustu

Aldim onu iceriye

Cik cik cik cik otsun diye

Pir pir ederken canlandi

Ellerim bak bos kaldi…




Tiptoeing in the dark  🔊



This spooky hand play would work well at Halloween!

It could also be played as an action rhyme; pairs of children holding hands creep in and out of each other, when the candle is blown out they huddle together for reassurance.


The words came from a collection of nursery rhymes.

Music and game by Dany Rosevear.


Point up, point down, place finger to mouth – Shhh! Fingers creep forward, finger moves round, make a roof shape. Fingers creep forward and about. Move hands like the wind and shake head, put finger up like a candle, blow out flame – Phwooh!


































Upstairs, downstairs, quiet as a mouse; Shhhh!

Tiptoe, tiptoe, all around the house.

Tiptoe, tiptoe, creep and creep about;

I hope the wind won't come along and blow my candle out! Phwooh!




To the sky and back 🔊



The story of the water cycle. Words by Emilie Poullson, music by Eleanor Smith from ‘Songs of a little child’s day’.


1. Make fingers dance. Fingers rise up. 2. Make a round earth. Form clouds above head. 3. Fingers rain down. Put hand to mouth.

























The sunbeams on the water danced

And coaxed some drops to rise,

With them up thro' the air, to make

A visit to the skies.


Then far and far above the earth

In clouds of white and grey,

Across the sky the water drops

Went wand'ring in their play.


The wondrous visit at an end,

They hurried down again;

And as they came the children all

Cried out, "Oh! see the rain!"




Tommy Thumb O


Hide hands behind the back and bring them out with thumbs upright. Wiggle thumbs to the music and bow on the last line.

Bring out fingers in sequence for the subsequent verses; fore fingers, middle fingers, ring fingers and little fingers and make them move too.
















Tommy Thumb, Tommy Thumb,

Where are you?

Here I am. here I am,

How do you do?


Peter Pointer, Peter Pointer…

Toby Tall, Toby Tall…

Ruby Ring, Ruby Ring…

Baby Small, Baby Small…

Fingers all, Fingers all…





Tommy Thumb is up O


Learn to identify and move each finger.


Make the thumb move as directed. On the last line tuck the thumb into the fist. Do the same with each of the other fingers.






























Tommy Thumb is up and Tommy Thumb is down,

Tommy Thumb dancing all around the town.

Dancing on my shoulders, dancing on my head,

Dancing on my knees and then tucked up in bed!


Peter Pointer’s…

Toby Tall…

Ruby Ring…

Baby Small… (quietly)



Finger Family’s up and Finger Family’s down,

Finger Family’s dancing all around the town.

Dancing on my shoulders, dancing on my head,

Dancing on my knees and then tucked up in bed!




Tortoise the brave 🔊



This song is based on the Russian hand play, Черепаха (The Tortoise).

Шла по полю черепаха

И дрожала вся от страха:



Ничего я не боюсь!"

Translation, in the spirit of the original, and music both by Dany Rosevear.


1.  Make tortoise walk slowly with forefinger and middle finger on your thigh.

2.  Mimic trembling with both hands. 3. Put hand to ear. 4.  Make mouth talk with both hands. 5. Point to self and shake finger.



































Tortoise walked in the field, what a sight,

Shaking and trembling with awful fright;

But listen, oh, just listen, to her sing,


I’m not afraid of any old thing!

I’m not afraid of any old thing!”





Two fat gentlemen O


Have fun singing each voice in character.


In the first verse bend thumbs each time ‘bowed’ and ‘How do you do?’ is sung.

Bend fingers in sequence for the subsequent verses; fore finger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger.





















Two fat gentlemen met in a lane,

Bowed most politely then bowed once again.

How do you do?

How do you do?

And how do you do again!


Two thin ladies met in a lane...


Two tall policemen met in a lane...


Two school children met in a lane...


Two little babies met in a lane...





Two little blackbirds sitting in the snow 🔊



A seasonal alternative to the classic nursery rhyme and an opportunity to encourage an understanding of opposites. Encourage children to make up more rhyming verses.


Stick a little blackbird on each forefinger. 1. Move fingers fast or slow each time emphasising opposite pairs by motion. 2. Make voice appropriately quiet or loud. 3. Move fingers high or low each time it is mentioned.






























Two little blackbirds, sitting in the snow,

One named Fast and the other named Slow.

Fly away Fast and fly away Slow,

Come back Fast and come back Slow.


Two little blackbirds, sitting on a cloud,

One named Quiet and the other named LOUD!

Fly away Quiet and fly away LOUD!

Come back Quiet and come back LOUD!


Two little blackbirds flying in the sky,

One named Low and the other named High.

Fly away Low and fly away High,

Come back Low and come back High!




Two little blackbirds sitting in the sun 🔊



This can be chanted as a rhyme or sung to the little tune I wrote. It is a classic from ‘This little Puffin’


Use forefingers for the birds and folded arms for the wall.







































Two little blackbirds sitting in the sun,

One flew away and then there was one.

One little blackbird feeling very small,

She flew away and then there was the wall.

One little brick wall lonely in the rain,

Waiting for the blackbirds to come and sing again.

(Here they come, here they come!)




Two little dickie birds 🔊



This rhyme is mostly heard as a chant but there are also many tunes written for it. I think the one below is the one I have used in the past.

You could easily make up your own verses using different names.

Find out more about these two rhymes at: It has a Roud number of 16401.


Mark the index nail of one hand and the middle finger of the second. If you are feeling creative stick a little bird picture on the nails!

Hold your fists up and wiggle marked fingers to show the birds. On the 5th line throw one hand past head and put the marked finger down replacing it with the one next to it and then bring the hand back. Do the same with the other hand. On the last two lines swap the unmarked finger for the marked on.

It is a wonderful way to puzzle children.





















Two little dickie birds,

Sitting on a wall;

One named Peter,

And one named Paul.

Fly away Peter,

Fly away Paul!

Come back Peter,

And come back Paul![


Two little blackbirds,

Sitting on a hill;

One named Jack,

And one named Gill.

Fly away Jack,

Fly away Gill!

Come again Jack,

And come again Gill!





Two little feet go tap tap tap O


This song is usually chanted but the tune below seems to go well with the words.


Move as the words suggest.




















Two little feet go tap, tap, tap,

Two little hands go clap, clap, clap,

A quick little leap up from my chair,

Two little hands reach high in the air.


Two little fists go bump, bump, bump,

Two little feet go jump, jump, jump,

One little body turns round and round,

And one little child sits quietly down.





Two little houses



A simple hand play for the very youngest.


Raise both hands. Close fists. Open fists.

Put hands side by side with fingers radiating out.

Ten fingers stand tall. Walk with fingers.















Two little houses,

Closed up tight.

Let’s open the windows,

And let in some light.

The bright sun is shining, what a delight!


Ten little people stand tall and straight.

Ready for school at half past eight.




Two mother pigs 🔊



A piggy number hand play.

Dany Rosevear added the tune.


1.  Show thumb. 2. Show fingers and thumbs, put together. 3. Hold up one hand with four fingers up. 4. Hold up other hand with four fingers up. 5-6. Roll hands over each other. 7. Make fists, put together. 8. Turn fists over with palms up then put hands to cheek and snore.










































Two mother pigs lived in a pen,

Each had four babies, and that made ten.

These four babies were as happy as could be,

These four babies went “Wheee, whee, whee!”

And all eight babies loved to play,

And they rolled and they rolled in the mud all day.

At night with their mothers, they curled up in a heap,

And squealed and squealed till they went to sleep.






Up the tall white candlestick O


An action song.

My class would chant this one while waiting to dip their wicks in hot wax to make candles. Have a go – it is great fun to see the candle grow with each dip!


1. Make arm into a candlestick. 2. Run two fingers up the arm. 3. Sit mouse on the candlestick and shake head. 4. Cup hands to mouth and shout. 5. Curl fists and roll them downwards.























Up the tall white candlestick

Crept little Mousie Brown,

Right to the top but he couldn’t get down.

So he called for his grandma,

‘Grandma, grandma!’

But grandma was in town.

So he rolled himself into a ball –

And came tumbling down!







Up to the ceiling, down to the floor  🔊



Learn the difference between right and left hands.


1.  Raise both hands up, then put them down.2. Point left with the left hand, then right with the right hand. 3. Raise right hand, then raise left hand, keeping the right hand up. 4. Twirl both hands round. 5. Hit fists on top of the other.





























Up to the ceiling,

Down to the floor,

Left to the window,

Right to the door.

This is my right hand,

Raise it up high,

This is my left hand,

Reach for the sky.

Right hand, left hand,

Twirl them both around.

Left hand, right hand,

Pound, pound, pound.




Where is Thumbkin? 🔊



A classic hand play naming each of the fingers.


1. Place hands behind back. 2. Show one thumb then the other. 3. Wiggle one thumb to ‘talk’ and then the other. 4. Put fists behind back. 5. Continue using a different finger each time.















Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?

Here I am! Here I am!

How are you today, sir?

Very well, I thank you.

Run away, run away.


Where is Pointer?...

Where is Tallman?...

Where is Ringman?...

Where is pinky?


Where is the family? Where is the family?

Here we are.Here we are.

How are you today, sirs?

Very well, we thank you.

Run away, Run away.




Wiggle them, wiggle them midi



Hand gymnastics for youngsters. Use this finger play to release wiggles and calm children.

Chant as a rhyme or sing to the melody by Dany Rosevear


The words suggest what you need to do.

For fun do the same movements with the feet, sitting down of course!





























Wiggle them, wiggle them,

Wiggle them so;

Wiggle them up high,

And wiggle them low.

Wiggle to the left

And wiggle to the right.

Wiggle them, wiggle them,

Out of sight!


Shake them…

Squeeze them …

Wave them…




Wild geese flying 🔊



A hand play for late Autumn.

Melody by Dany Rosevear; the wild geese suggested a Chinese sound to the music.


1. Cross hands at wrists and fly high. 2. Wiggle fingers downwards, hold arms and shiver. 3. Loose fists run up trunk of a tree. 4. Fists chase each other and then ‘talk’ with thumb and forefingers. 5. Hop fist up arm, cup hands for a nest, put hands to cheek.























Let your hands be wild geese flying,

Far, far away.

Let your fingers be leaves twirling down,

On a cold fall day.

Let your hands be

Two frisky squirrels,

Climbing up a tree;

Chasing each other up and down,

Chattering merrily.

Then let the squirrels go hop, hop, hop,

Into a cosy nest…to rest.

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