preschool animal rhymes
nursery rhymes and finger plays Preschool
Nursery Rhymes about Animals
Print this Theme Early childhood education and preschool education lesson plans and activities are enhanced by this resource collection of nursery rhymes, fingerplays and action songs about animals.  Many of these poems and songs have withstood the test of time and are still popular with preschool children and their teachers.
If you're looking for preschool animal activities and lesson plans they're in the Animal Theme.

The Rainbow Resource Room has lots of animal activity plans in 
the Farm Theme, the Bird Activity Theme,  Circus & Clown Activities, 
the Penguin Theme and the Hibernation Theme.

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Five Little Ducks
5 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mommy (daddy) duck called quack quack quack,
But only 4 little ducks came back.

4 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mommy (daddy) duck called quack quack quack,
But only 3 little ducks came back.

3 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mommy (daddy) duck called quack quack quack,
But only 2 little ducks came back.

2 little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mommy (daddy) duck called quack quack quack,
But only 1 little duck came back.

1 little duck went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mommy (daddy) duck called quack quack quack,
But  no little ducks came wondering  back.

No little  ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away,
Mommy (daddy) duck called quack quack quack,
And 5 little ducks came wandering back.

Tiny Tim
Wanda L. contributes this rhyme
There was a little turtle,
 His name was tiny tim.
 I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.
 He drank up all the water,
 He ate up all the soap,
 And now he is in the bathtub,
 With a bubble in his throat.
 Bubble, bubble,bubble,
 Bubble, bubble, bubble,
 Bubble, bubble, bubble,
 Bubble, bubble, pop!

Birds
If I were a bird, I'd sing a song
And fly about the whole day long
And when the night came
Go to rest, up in my cozy little nest. 

 
Bluebird, Bluebird
Bluebird, bluebird,  through my window.
Bluebird, bluebird, through my window.
Bluebird, bluebird, through my window .
Oh, Johnny I'm so tired.
 
 
 

Five Little Blue Birds
Preschoolers use fingers to represent the birds.

Five little blue birds, hopping by my door
One went to build a nest, and then there were four

Four little blue birds singing lustily
One got out of tune, and then there were three

Three little blue birds, and what should one do,
But go in search of dinner, leaving only two.

Two little blue birds singing for fun
One flew away, and then there was one.

One little blue bird sitting in the sun
He took a little nap, and then there was none.
 

Two Little Black Birds
  A simple action rhyme

Two little black birds
Sitting on the wall,
(hold up one finger of each hand)
One named Peter,
The other named Paul.
Fly away Peter!
(put a hand behind your back)
Fly away, Paul!
(put the other hand behind you back)
Come back, Peter!
(bring the first hand from behind your back)
Come back, Paul!
(bring the second hand from behind your back)

The entire Bird Activity Theme is in the Rainbow Resource Room.
 
 
 

Ten Little Fishes
Ten little fishes were swimming in a school,
Preschoolers hold up ten fingers and then make swimming motions with  their hands. For the rest of the lines, wiggle each finger in turn.

This one said, "Let's swim where it is cool."
This one said, "It's a very warm day."
This one said, "Come on, let's play."
This one said, "I'm as hungry as can be."
This one said, "There's a worm for me."
This one said, "Wait, we'd better look."
This one said, "Yes, it's on a hook."
This one said, "Can't we get it anyway?"
This one said, "Perhaps we may."
This one, so very brave, grabbed a bite and swam away.
 
 
 

Five  Little Fishes
For this fingerplay first make swimming motions with both hands then hold up one hand and wiggle a different finger as each line is said.

Five little fishes swimming in a pool
This one said,  "The pool is cool."
This one said,  "The pool is deep."
This one said,  "I'd like to sleep."
This one said,  "I'll float and dip."
This one said,  "I see a ship."
The fishing boat comes.
The line goes splash.
All the little fishes swim away in a flash!
 


Fish
Pretty little goldfish
Never can talk.
All it does is wiggle
When it tries to walk.

One, two, three, four, five,
I caught a fish alive.
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
I let him go again!
Why did I let him go?
Because he bit my finger so.
Which finger did he bite?
The little one on the right.
 


Pollito, Chicken
Improvise a tune for this bilingual song
(Spanish-English)

Pollito, chicken;  Gallina, hen.
Lapiz, pencil, y Pluma, pen.
Ventana, window;  Puerta, door.
Maestra, teacher, y Piso, floor.

Use this version if the teacher is a woman,  If a man, change "maestra" to "maestro".

For an entire Spanish Rhyme Theme go to theRainbow Resource Room

Five Little Piggies
A Counting Fingerplay

"It's time for my piggies to go to bed."
The great big mother piggy said.
"So I will count them first to see
If all my piggies came back to me.
One little piggy, two little piggies, three little piggies dear
Four little piggies, five little piggies
Yes, they're all here!" 


This Little Piggy
This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
This little piggy cried, "Wee, wee, wee, wee."
All the way home.
Pop Goes the Weasel
All around the Cobbler's bench
The monkey chased the weasel.
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun.
Pop!  Goes the weasel.

Little Bo-Peep
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep,
And can't tell where to find them,
Leave them alone, and they'll come home
Wagging their tails behind them. 

Sammy  Snail
Try using this poem as a movement activity for preschool children

Sammy snail is slowly moving
See him slide across the grass
He leaves a silver path behind him
We all know when he has passed.

Sammy snail is never worried
Though he wanders far and wide
For on his back his house he carries
And when he's tired he pops inside.
 


Old MacDonald Had a Farm
Traditional preschool song

Old MacDonald had a farm
E I E I O
And on that farm there were some ducks
E I E I O
With a quack-quack here
And a quack -quack there
Here a quack, there a quack
Everywhere a quack-quack
Old MacDonald had a farm
E I E I O

   start again substituting another animal for the duck, but repeat the last four lines, singing the duck sound before you start the song again.

pig:  oink-oink               chickens:   peep-peep
dog:  bow-bow               lambs:  baa-baa
cow:  moo-moo               horses:  neigh-neigh
crows:  caw-caw             cats:   meow-meow  etc.

An entire Farm Theme is in the Rainbow Resource Room!
 


Five Little Chickadees
A fingerplay or whole body movement activity

Five little chickadees, sitting by a door
One flew away, and then there were four

Chorus:
Chickadees, chickadees, happy and gay,
Chickadees, chickadees, fly away.

Four little chickadees, sitting in a tree
One flew away, and then there were three.
   Repeat the Chorus

Three little chickadees, looking at you
One flew away, and then there were two.
   Repeat the Chorus

Two little chickadees, sitting in the sun
One flew away, and then there was one.
   Repeat the Chorus

One little chickadee, sitting all alone
That one flew away, and then there was none.
 


The Zoo
A good poem to use with body movements and to begin discussions about animals

At the zoo we saw a bear
He had long, dark fuzzy hair
  pretend to walk etc. like a bear

We saw a lion in a cage.
He was in an awful rage.
  pretend to be a angry lion

We saw the big, long-necked giraffe,
And the silly monkeys made us laugh
   everybody laugh

But my favorite animal at the zoo
Is the elephant--how about you?
 


The Elephant
The elephant has a trunk for a nose,
And up and down is the way it goes,
  Clasp hands together, extend arms and raise and lower them
He wears such a saggy, baggy hide!
   relax body
Do you think two elephants would fit inside?
   hold up two fingers

Elephants At Work and Play
A fingerplay with numbers

As 5 little elephants marched through the grass
   march fingers of right hand
They decided to stop and have a music class,
The first blew his trumpet and announced he'd be teacher.
   make a trumpet of fists and blow
The next gave a call of the wild jungle animal
   cup hands to mouth, make a low eerie sound
The third and fourth elephants trumpeted a song,
   make a trumpet and blow twice
But the last little elephant just followed along,
Then he left the others as he didn't care to play,
And he carried tree logs the rest of the day.

   link the little finger under two fingers of the left hand and carry them away

A Elephant
When people call this beast to mind
They marvel more and more
At such a little tail behind
So large a trunk before.

circus elephantCircus Elephants
Improvise a tune for this rhyme
Elephants walking along the trails
Are holding hands by holding tails.

Trunks and tails are handy things,
When elephants walk in circus rings.

Elephants work and elephants play.
And elephants walk and feel so gay.

And when they walk it never fails
They're holding hands by holding tails.

Circus and Clown Activities are in the Rainbow Resource Room.

Galloping Chant
Preschool children gallop around, fast at first then slower

Galloping, galloping, galloping,
How fast my pony can go,
When he's tired we'll come home,
Slow, slow, slow.
 


Squirrels
Wisky, frisky,. hippity, hop
Up he climbs to the tree top.
Whirly, twirly, round and round
Down he scampers to the ground.
Where's his supper?
In a shell
Snappy, cracky, out it fell. 


The Frog
A little green frog once lived in a pool
The sun was hot and the water cool,
He sat in the pool the whole day long,
And sung a dear little, queer little song,
"Juaggery do, Quaggery dee,
No one was ever so happy as me."

A Green Frog
Said the little green frog as he sat on a log
Nobody really likes me
A duck came along
And said,  "You are wrong."
And gobbled him up for tea.

Five Little Speckled Frogs
Ask preschool children to perform these actions as they have fun with subtracting numbers.

There's a creative activity contributed by Karen M. that can be used with this rhyme located in 
Counting and Number Theme

Five little speckled frogs,
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating the most delicious bugs...yum, yum.
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool.
Then there were four speckled frogs.

Continue until only one frog is left

One little specked frog.
Sitting on a speckled log,
Eating the most delicious bugs...yum,yum.
He jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool.
Now there are no speckled frogs.
 

Five Little Froggies
A preschool body movement activity

Five little froggies sitting on a well
One looked up, and down he fell.
Froggies jumped high,
Froggies jumped low.

Four little froggies sitting on a well
One looked up, and down he fell.
Froggies jumped high.
Froggies jumped low.

   continue with  two and three froggies then.....

One little froggy sitting on a well
He looked up and down he fell.
 


Frogs
A fingerplay
This little froggy broke his toe
This little froggy said,  "Oh, oh, oh!"
This little froggy laughed and was glad.
This little froggy cried and was sad,
This little froggy did just what he should
He ran for the Doctor as fast as he could. 

The Little Turtle
This nursery rhyme is done with appropriate hand gestures, then the preschool children can all run about after the last verse.

There was a little turtle,
He Lived in a box
He swam in a puddle,
He climbed on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito,
He snapped at a flea,
He snapped at a minnow,
And he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito,
He caught the flea,
He caught the minnow,
But he didn't catch ME!
 


Turtle
Preschool children perform the actions that the words describe.

Mr. Turtle round and low
   shade eyes...look
I know why you move so slow
   nod
You carry such a heavy load
   act out
Moving your house down the road.




               The Reason
Recite this little poem by Dorothy Aldis when young  children are disappointed because of a trip etc. that  must be canceled because of a rainy day
Rabbits and squirrels 
Are furry and fat,
And all of the chickens
Have feathers, and that
Is why when it's raining
They need not stay in
The way children do who have
Only their skin.

Baby Kangaroo
A preschool fingerplay or movement activity

Jump, jump, jump goes the big kangaroo,

   make jumping motion with index finger:  other fingers and thumb are folded
I thought there was one, but I see there are two.
The mother takes her young one along in a pouch
   index of left hand slips up between thumb and fingers of right hand
Where he can nap like a child on a couch.
  incline head on folded hands
Jump, Jump, Jump,
Jump, Jump, Jump
   repeat jumping motion

If you're looking for preschool animal activities and lesson plans they're in the Animal Theme.

The Rainbow Resource Room has lots of animal activity plans in 
the Farm Theme, the Bird Activity Theme,  Circus & Clown Activities, 
the Penguin Theme and the Hibernation Theme.

For books about animals take a look at
Preschool Books Listed by Themes.
Lots MORE nursery rhymes, fingerplays and action songs
about animals throughout the Rhyme Themes.

Return to Click Here for Activity Central for early childhood education activities and lesson plans.
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