What is a Fingerplay?

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on April 16, 2009

in Music and Fingerplays

It is a must that every early childhood educator spends time learning and memorizing a wide variety of fingerplays.

A fingerplay is a short poem or rhyme

that is either spoken or sung and involves

the use of hands and fingers to help “act” it all out.
Finger Plays by Teach Preschool


What is the purpose of a fingerplay?

Fingerplays serve a variety of purposes…

• They help capture a young child’s attention;

• They engage the child in the learning process;

• They promote the young child’s imagination and creativity;

• They increase a young child’s language, vocabulary, and listening skills;

• They involve and promote the development of fine motor skills;

• They help the teacher give directions and instruction.

• They provide entertainment for down time.

Fingerplays by Teach Preschool

An example of a fingerplay

Way up high in the Apple Tree (Point finger up)
Five red apples smiled at me. (Hold up five fingers)
I shook that tree as hard as I could, (Clasp hands together and shake back and forth)
Down fell an apple, mmm it was good. (Rub tummy with both hands)
Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Little Fingers that Play by Deborah J. Stewart

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