Category Archives: Fingerplay

Typically a sit-down activity using hands and arms to make motions that illustrate various nouns and verbs in a poem/rhyme

Brer Rabbit: Prop Story/Fingerplay

fox and rabbit puppets and a felt thorn bush

Story: Adaptation of the Uncle Remus tale of Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby
(This story takes up where Brer Rabbit is already caught) Adapted by: CK Emanuel

Need:
-felt in various colors: orange, white, shades of brown, and black
-hot glue and glue sticks
-a felt board
– a thorny stem (Optional: used beforehand to set context of story- for kids to see how sharp thorns are)

Participation Age Range: 18 months to 8 years old depending on options used.

Method: Put the Briar Patch (Thorn bush) on the felt board. Put on the rabbit finger puppet and the fox hand puppet. The fox puppet can hold the rabbit when its “caught” and the rabbit puppet can stick to the felt board with thrown.
Options: Have audience use fingerplay movements as story unfolds

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Three Billy Goats Fairy Tale : Fingerplay

GoatSNGThere’s a troll, there’s a troll,
MAKE A SCARY FACE
there’s a troll under the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
There’s a goat, there’s a goat,
GRAB CHIN AND PULL DOWN AS IF STROKING A BEARD
there’s an itty bitty billy goat.
PUT INDEX FINGER AND THUMB CLOSE TOGETHER

Hear a trip, Hear a trap,
PAT THIGHS
Hear a trip trap over the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Here’s the troll, Here’s the troll,
MAKE A SCARY FACE
Here’s the troll on the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Hear a roar, Hear a roar,
CUP HAND OVER MOUTH
But the billy goat has a plan
TAP TEMPLE WITH FINGER

Troll just wait, just wait
HAND OUT, PALM AWAY FROM YOU
Just wait for a bigger goat.
HANDS TOGETHER, THEN SPREAD APART

There’s a goat, there’s a goat
GRAB CHIN AND PULL DOWN AS IF STROKING A BEARD
there’s little bit bigger goat
HANDS TOGETHER, THEN SPREAD APART

Hear a trip, Hear a trap,
PAT THIGHS
Hear a trip trap over the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Here’s the troll, Here’s the troll,
MAKE A SCARY FACE
Here’s the troll on the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Hear a roar, Hear a roar
CUP HAND OVER MOUTH
But the billy goat has a plan
TAP TEMPLE WITH FINGER

Troll just wait, just wait
HAND OUT, PALM AWAY FROM YOU
Just wait for a bigger goat.
HANDS TOGETHER, THEN SPREAD APART

There’s a goat, there’s a goat
GRAB CHIN AND PULL DOWN AS IF STROKING A BEARD
there’s biggest of the billy goats
HANDS TOGETHER, THEN SPREAD APART

Hear a trip, Hear a trap,
PAT THIGHS
Hear a trip trap over the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Here’s the troll, Here’s the troll,
MAKE A SCARY FACE
Here’s the troll on the bridge.
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Hear a roar, Hear a roar
CUP HAND OVER MOUTH
But the billy goat has a plan
TAP TEMPLE WITH FINGER

Head goes down, horns points up
MOVE FIST DOWNWARDS
STICK 2 FINGERS OUT OF FIST OF HEAD LIKE HORNS
Head goes down so the horns point up
AS BEFORE
Here’s the charge! Here’s the charge!
MOVE HAND WITH HORNS FORWARD
The Billy Goat rammed the troll!
COLLIDE HORNED FIST INTO OPPOSITE HAND AND SEND IT FLYING

Now the bridge, now the bridge,
PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH
Now there’s no troll under the bridge.
SHAKE HEAD; PUT FINGERTIPS TOGETHER TO MAKE AN ARCH

Includes a modifications and a shorter version

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Spring Garden: Fingerplay

SproutingIn the Garden
Text and Actions by CK Emanuel
To the tune of: The Wheels on the Bus

The Shovel in the garden goes, “Dig, dig, dig,”
MAKE DIGGING MOTION WITH A CUPPED HAND
“Dig, dig, dig,” “Dig, dig, dig.”
The Shovel in the garden goes, “Dig, dig, dig,”
When Spring comes around.

ADDITIONAL VERSES MAY INCLUDE:
– The Rain in the garden goes, “Plip Plop Plip
TAP THIGHS ALTERNATING AT EACH SOUND
– The Sun in the garden goes, “Shining down
START WITH HANDS TOUCHING SHOULDERS THEN LOWER ARMS, PALMS UP
– The Seed in the garden goes, “Watch me sprout
START WITH HANDS CUPPED TOGETHER, THEN STRETCH ARMS UPWARDS

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Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes: Fingerplay

Walking.Holding.Hands

Sharing World Views
Words and Actions by CK Emanuel

Put your hand in mine and walk with me,
CLAPS HANDS TOGETHER
MAKE AN UPSIDE DOWN “V” WITH BOTH HANDS AND WALK THEM AS IF LEGS
Walk with me, walk with me.
SAME ACTION AS ABOVE
Put your hand in mine and walk with me
AS ABOVE.
To see the world like me.
PUT TO EYES
MAKE HOOP OVERHEAD LIKE EARTH
PUT HANDS ON CHEST

Take my hand for I will walk with you,
CLAPS HANDS TOGETHER
MAKE AN UPSIDE DOWN “V” WITH BOTH HANDS AND WALK THEM AS IF LEGS
Walk with you, walk with you.
SAME ACTION AS ABOVE
Take my hand for I will walk with you
AS ABOVE.
To see the world like you.
PUT TO EYES
MAKE HOOP OVERHEAD LIKE EARTH
HANDS OUT TO SIDES WITH PALMS UP

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Fairy Tale Elves and the Shoemaker: Fingerplay

Buckle.ShoeElves and the Shoemaker
Text and Actions by CK Emanuel

A poor shoemaker with a single leather scrap,
HANDS OUT TO SIDES TO SHOW “EMPTY”
Too tired to work, took a long night’s nap.
YAWN AND STRETCH;
THEN PUT HANDS TOGETHER AND REST THEM ON THE SIDE OF ONE CHECK
Then in from the dark crept two little chaps,
MAKE AN UPSIDE-DOWN “V” WITH BOTH HANDS AND “WALK” THEM LIKE LEGS
Whose hammers worked with a tap, tap, tap!
USE A FIST TO HAMMER THE OTHER HAND
The elves filled the shoe shelves in a snap,
MOVE HANDS AS IF PLACING ITEMS ON SHELVES
Before sneaking out through the window gap.
MAKE A FLATTEN “C” WITH ONE HAND. USING THE OTHER HAND, MAKE LEGS LIKE BEFORE AND WALK IT THROUGH THE OPENING IN THE FLATTEN “C” HAND.
How happy the cobbler, a truly thankful chap!
USE INDEX FINGERS TO DRAW A SMILE ON FACE
PUT BOTH HANDS OVER HEART
For the elves he left shoes, clothes, and each a cap!
TOUCH SHOES, SHIRT, THEN THE TOP OF HEAD

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Wearing Shoes: A Fingerplay

A fallen monkey wearing socks whose shoes are right next to him

5 Little Monkeys’ Shoes
Words and Actions by CK Emanuel
To the tune of: 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

Five little monkeys refused to wear their shoes
HOLD UP FIVE FINGERS
CROSS ARMS & SHAKE HEAD THEN TOUCH YOUR SHOE
A slid, a skid, and whoops! A bruise!
MOVE ONE HAND, PALM DOWN IS A SLIDING MOTION, THEN DO THE SAME WITH THE OTHER HAND
THROW ARMS UP IN THE AIR
RUB ARM AS IF HURT
The Doctor was called, who said this isn’t news,
HAND MAKES A “Y” BY HAVING THUMB AND PINKY FINGER STICK OUT OF FIST; BRING TO EAR LIKE A PHONE
“All little monkeys need to wear their shoes!”
SHAKE POINTER FINGER AT IMAGINARY MONKEYS
TOUCH SHOE

CONTINUE RHYME COUNTING DOWN FROM 4 TO 1 .

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Wind Blows Leaf fingerplay

Tree in Autumn with leaves on ground and blowing in the windBlow the Leaf Down
Text and Actions adapted by CK Emanuel
Adaptation of the folk song: Blow the Man Down

I’ll sing you a song of the wind and a tree
THUMBS POINT TO CHEST
MOVE HANDS SIDE TO SIDE IN SWEEPING MOTION
ARMS STRAIGHT UP OVERHEAD
with a way, hey, blow the leaf down;
MOVE ARMS OVERHEAD AND SWAY THEM FROM SIDE TO SIDE
LOWER HAND AS IF IT WAS A LEAF FALLING
And hope that you’ll be the breeze with me.
HANDS OVER HEART
MOVE HANDS SIDE TO SIDE IN SWEEPING MOTION
Give it a try and blow the leaf down.
EXTEND ARM PALM UP AND THEN BEND AT ELBOW TO MAKE A “COME” GESTURE
MOVE HAND AS IF IT WAS A LEAF FALLING

Original Song Source: “Blow the Man Down Lyrics.” Grandparents.com, American Grandparents Association, www.grandparents.com/grandkids/activities-games-and-crafts/blow-the-man-down.

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