Finger Play


Finger Play

© Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Department of Early Education and Care (Jennifer Waddell photographer). All rights reserved.

Finger plays are musical experiences with hand movements that help your baby learn. Use fingerplays to entertain your child at the playground, in the grocery store, while waiting for dinner to cook, or just about anywhere!

  • You can get your baby’s attention when you sing or chant rhymes, and that helps him learn to hear the different sounds in words.
  • As he watches you move your hands, the finger plays also encourage him to explore what his hands and fingers can do.
  • You can also try to pat his hands together or touch and tickle his toes to encourage him to move with the rhyme.

Shorter, simple rhymes work best. Here's one to try:

"The Beehive"

Here is the beehive.
(make a fist with one hand and cover it with your other hand)

Where are the bees?
(lift your hand off your fist as if you are looking for the bees)

Hiding inside where nobody sees  
(wave your fist in front of your baby)

Here they come now, out of the hive: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
(raise one finger at a time from your fist as you count)

(wiggle your fingers and tickle your baby where he likes to be tickled)

"El gato"

Cuatro patas (hold up four fingers)

Tiene un gato
Uno, dos, tres, cuatro (count four fingers)

As your older baby becomes familiar with the finger plays you share, watch for him to try the movements or become excited when you start a favorite rhyme. If you want to try other finger plays, ask your librarian, your childcare educator, or look online for recommendations.

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