Finger plays offer a fun, learning experience to young kids by engaging multiple senses simultaneously, like touch, movement, and auditory and visual senses. Along with this, finger plays also offer benefits of improved speech and language skills, body awareness, coordination, social skills, auditory discrimination, and gross and fine motor skills.
Whether you are planning to teach toddlers and preschoolers in a small group or large group, or independently and one-on-one, finger plays offer a valuable learning experience in all cases. If you are looking for some fun finger play ideas, we recommend reading through this post!
Creative Finger Play Ideas for Children
Finger plays are not only entertaining, they are engaging activities for young, growing minds. Here are some creative and fun finger play ideas for kids!
1. Five Little Ducks
This is one of the most entertaining finger play songs for young kids. Raise all the fingers of one hand, and one finger of the other hand. Start singing this song:
Five little ducks went out one day (sway or wave the five raised fingers)
Over the hills and far away (trace a hill in the air with your fingers)
Mumma Duck said, “Quack, quack, quack!”
But only four little ducks came back! (fold down one finger)
Repeat this song, and keep missing one duck and folding down one finger every time. In the end, send the Mumma Duck to fetch all the little ducks!
2. Five Green and Speckled Frogs
This is an amazing finger play for toddlers. Hold up all the fingers of one hand, and sing:
Five green and speckled frogs (show the five raised fingers)
Sat on a speckled log (place the outstretched fingers on the other hand, which is placed horizontally to resemble a log)
Eating some delicious bugs.
Yummy, yummy! (rub your belly)
One jumped into the pool (raise 1 finger)
Where it was nice and cool (make a swimming gesture)
Then there were four green and speckled frogs (raise 4 fingers and make a waving gesture)
Keep repeating until no frogs remain on the log!
3. Here Is the Beehive
You can try this adorable finger play song with kindergarteners and preschoolers!
Here is the beehive (make a fist with one hand)
Where are the bees?
Hiding inside where nobody sees!
Watch them come creeping out of the hive
One, two, three, four, five (raise one finger from the fist with each number)
BUZZ-ZZZ! (make the buzzing sound as you wiggle your five raised fingers)
4. Five Umbrellas
Another exciting finger play for preschoolers, you can make this activity more fun by assigning the kids’ names to each finger. Start by holding up all the five fingers of one hand. Keep putting one finger down every time an umbrella is taken.
Five umbrellas, not one more
Dad took one, then there were four.
Four umbrellas, pretty as can be.
Sister took one, now there are three.
Three umbrellas, green, red, and blue.
Mum took one, then there were two.
Two umbrellas, that’s all I see.
Brother took one, and left one for me.
5. The Itsy-Bitsy Spider
One of the classic finger play rhymes, young kids will enjoy this activity to the hilt!
The itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the waterspout. (use your fingers to make climbing movements)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out. (Imitate the action of rain by wiggling your fingers)
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain. (Stretch your arms over your head to form the shape of the sun)
And the itsy-bitsy spider climbed up the spout again. (use your fingers to make climbing movements)
6. 5 Cheeky Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Kids love activities or songs with animals in it, and this goofy song will amuse them to the core!
Five cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed (start by holding up five fingers, and then imitate jumping movements)
One fell off and bumped his head (rub your head)
Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said (gesture with your fingers as if making a phone call)
“No more monkeys jumping on the bed” (Make a scolding or no-no action with your index finger)
Four cheeky monkeys jumping on the bed….
Repeat until no monkey remains on the bed!
7. Tiny Turtle
This adorable finger play will leave the kiddos asking for more! Start by placing one hand over another, and extend your thumbs outwards.
I have this tiny turtle (move your thumbs to imitate swimming action)
His name is Tiny Tim!
I put him in the bathtub (make a diving and swimming gesture with both the hands)
To see if he could swim!
He drank up all the water (Take your finger towards your throat and make drinking gesture)
And ate up all the soap. (act as if eating or gobbling something)
Now he has a bubble in the middle of his throat! (stroke the throat with both the hands)
Bubble, bubble, bubble… POP! (make a popping sound)
8. Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree
This one is a hilarious and exciting finger play for young kids!
Five little monkeys swinging in a tree (Raise one arm, and imitate the gesture of a hanging monkey’s tail with it)
Teasing Mr. Alligator, “You can’t catch me!” (Make silly actions and faces)
Along comes Mr. Alligator, quiet as can be. (Bring your palms together and make gentle swimming motions)
And SNAPS one monkey right out of that tree. (Use both hands to make a clap sound as you imitate the alligator’s jaws by joining both the palms)
Four little monkeys swinging in a tree…
Repeat until there are no more monkeys swinging in the tree!
9. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I Caught a Fish Alive
This numbers song can be made more fun and exciting by adding some finger play to it!
1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (hold up the fingers of one hand one by one as you say a number)
Once I caught a fish alive (hold one finger up)
6, 7, 8, 9, 10 (hold up the fingers of the other hand as you say a number)
Then I let it go again.
Why did I let it go? (make a gesture as if asking a question)
Because it bit my finger so.
Which finger did it bite? (again, make a gesture as if asking a question)
This little finger on my right. (hold and point out the pinky finger of the right hand)
10. One, Two, Buckle My Shoe
If you are looking for finger plays with hand motions, this one is surely tops the list!
One, two, buckle my shoe (hold up two fingers up as you count, and then make tying actions using your hands)
Three, four, knock on the door (hold up two more fingers of the same hand, and make a knocking gesture by folding the index finger)
Five, six, pick up sticks (hold up the last finger of one hand, and one finger of the other hand, and then make movements as if you are picking up sticks)
Seven, eight, lay them straight (hold up two more fingers of the other hand, and make gestures as if you are laying the sticks down)
Nine, ten, a big fat hen! (hold up the last two fingers of the other hand, and then fold both your arms to make a flapping gesture)
11. Five Jelly Fish
This fun finger play song can go on and on and so will the fun!
Five jellyfish, five jellyfish (raise all five fingers of one hand)
Five jellyfish, sitting on a rock.
One jumped off! Splash! (fold down one finger)
Repeat this until all the jellyfish have jumped off, and you have made a fist. Next, sing:
No jellyfish, no jellyfish,
No jellyfish, sitting on a rock.
One jumped up! Hooray! (from the fist, raise one finger)
One jellyfish, one jellyfish…
Repeat until all the jellyfish have jumped up, and all the fingers are held up again!
12. Five Currant Buns
Kids will have oodles of fun as they move their little fingers and sing along to this adorable play!
Five currant buns in a baker’s shop (start by holding up all the five fingers of one hand)
Big and round, with a cherry on the top (make a big circular shape with both arms)
Along came a little boy (or you can use any name) with a penny one day,
Bought a currant bun, and took it away (fold down one finger).
Four currant buns in a baker’s shop…
(Keep singing, counting, and folding down fingers until there are no buns left in the shop).
13. Two Little Eyes
This is one of the most engaging finger plays for kids that teaches them about body parts.
Two little eyes to look around (use your index fingers to point at the eyes)
Two little ears to hear a sound (point to the ears)
One little nose to smell what’s sweet (point to the nose)
One little mouth that likes to eat (act as if gobbling up all the fingers)
Yum, yum, yum! (rub your belly with both hands, and sway your body and head sideways)
14. Ten Fat Sausages
This is a cute and sweet finger play for young kids!
Ten fat sausages sizzling in a pan (hold up all ten fingers)
All of a sudden, one went BANG! (clap your hands with a loud bang)
Nine fat sausages sizzling in a pan,
All of a sudden, one went BANG!
Eight fat sausages…
Repeat until no more sausages are left!
15. There Were Ten in the Bed
This is a simple yet fun finger play song for toddlers!
There were ten in the bed, (hold up all your fingers)
And the little one said, ‘Roll over, roll over!’
So they all rolled over, and one fell out. (fold down one finger)
There were nine in the bed…
Repeat, roll, and fold down the fingers till everyone rolls over the bed!
These fun and creative finger plays will engage your kids and aid their motor and cognitive growth and development!