nursery rhymes, finger plays and songs

Preschool
Fingerplays, Action Poems, Nursery Rhymes, and Songs

Fingerplays and rhymes come to life during circle and large group times as preschool children show word meaning through simple actions and finger movements.  Preschoolers develop memory and recall skills as they sing and recite the songs and poems in this curriculum resource collection. I have collected the rhymes, fingerplays and songs in this collection during the past 30 years and either don't know or have forgotten many author's names.

Finger plays, action poems, nursery rhymes, and songs are grouped according to early childhood education themes.
 Just click on the navigation links to your left.

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Rhyme
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Animal Rhymes

Counting and
Number Rhymes

Community Helper 
Rhyme Theme
 

Insect and Bug Rhymes

Self and Family
Rhyme Theme

Rhymes for Counting and Number Themes
The words suggest the hand, body and finger movements
Special Occasion
Rhymes

Transition  Time 
Rhymes

Transportation 
Rhyme Theme

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Preschool
Rainbow

Lots of books about counting are listed in Preschool Books Listed by Themes
For activities go to the Counting and Number Theme  and there is also a
Number Activity Theme in the Rainbow Resource Room!
 

Five Fat Peas
A counting fingerplay especially
useful in the spring and summer.

Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed
(children hold hand in a fist)
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest.
(put thumb and fingers up one by one)
They grew and grew
 (raise hand in the air very slowly)
And did not stop,
Until one day
The pod went POP!
(children clap hands together)

One Potato, Two Potato
An activity for this counting
rhyme is in the Counting and Number Theme

One potato, two potato,
Three potato, four,
Five potato, six potato,
Seven potato, more!

One, Two, Tie My Shoe

1,2  Tie my shoe
3,4  Shut the door
5,6  Pick up sticks
7,8  Lay them straight
9, 10  A big fat hen.
Let's get up and count again!

 

Monkeys On the Bed
Action poem
Five little monkeys jumping 
on the bed
One fell off and bumped 
his head
Mama called the doctor and 
the doctor Said,
" No more monkeys 
jumping on the bed!"

Four little monkeys jumping 
on the bed, three little monkeys jumping on the bed, (and so on).

 

One Little Flower,
One Little Bee

One little flower, one little bee.
One little blue bird, high in the tree.
One little brown bear smiling at me.
One is the number I like,
you see.

Five Cookies
Action poem
Five little cookies in the bakery shop.
Shinning bright with the sugar on top.
Along comes (child's name) with a nickel to pay.
He/she buys a cookie and takes it away.
(continue with four, three, two and one).
Ten Fingers
A fingerplay

I have ten fingers    hold up both hands, fingers spread
And they all belong to me,  point to self
I can make them do things-
Would you like to see?

I can shut them up tight   make fists
I can open them wide    open hands
I can put them together   place palms together
I can make them all hide   put hands behind back

I can make them jump high   hands over head
I can make them jump low   touch floor
I can fold them up quietly   fold hands in lap
And hold them just so.
 

Uno, Dos Y Tres
A bilingual counting song in Spanish and English
Uno, dos, y tres,
Cuatro, cinco, seis.
Siete, ocho, nueve,
Cuento hasta diez.
La la la la la;  La la la la la,
La la la la la;  La la la la la.
La la la la la;  La la la la la.

One, two, and three,
Four, five and six.
Seven, eight, and nine,
I count to ten.
La la la la la;  La la la la la.
La la la la la;  La la la la la.
La la la la la;  La la la la la.

For an entire Spanish Rhyme Theme go to the Resource Room

 

Three Balls
Action poem

Here's a ball     make ball with thumb and index finger
And here's a ball   make ball with other thumb and index
A great big ball, I see   put arms up and touch fingers

over head 

Shall we count them?
Are you ready?
One, Two, Three    make all three balls in succession

 

Three Little Nickels
A fingerplay

Three little nickels in a pocketbook new,
   hold up three fingers
One bought a peppermint, and then there were two,
   bend down one finger
Two Little nickels before the day was done,
One bought an ice cream come, and then there was one
   bend down another finger
One little nickel I heard it plainly say,
"I'm going into the piggy bank for a rainy day!" 
 

Turtles
Poem
One baby turtle alone and new.
Finds a friend, and then there are two.
Two baby turtles crawl down to the sea.
They find another, and then there are three.
Three baby turtles crawl along the shore.
They find another, and then there are four.
Four baby turtles go for a dive.
Up swims another, and then there are five. 
Birds
Poem
There was one little bird in a little tree,
He was all alone, and he didn't want to be.
So he flew far away, over the sea,
And brought back a friend to live in the tree.

Substitute two, three, etc. for one as you finish the verse.

The Bird Activity Theme is in the
Rainbow Resource Room.

Here is a Beehive
A fingerplay

Here is the beehive, where are the bees?
     clench fist and bring out fingers quickly one by one
Hidden away were nobody sees
Watch and you will see them come out of their hives,
One, two, three, four, five,
Buzz, buzz, buzz. 
 

Five Little Bees

One little bee blew and flew.
He met a friend, and that made two.

Two little bees, busy as could be--
Along came another and that made three.

Three little bees, wanted one more,
Found one soon and that made four.

Four little bees, going to the hive.
Spied their little brother, and that made five.

Five little bees working every hour--
Buzz away, bees, and find another flower.
 

Five Little Birdies
A fingerplay

Five little birdies, flying around our door,

 five fingers one hand up in the air, as verse is said other hand bends down each finger
The blue one flew away and then there were four.

Four little birdies sitting in a tree,
The yellow one flew away and then there were three.

The little birdies didn't know what to do,
So the red one flew away, and then there were two.

Two little birdies sitting in the sun, 
The Brown one flew away, and there was one.

The little green birdie felt so all alone,
He/she flew away and then there was none.
Later on that very day,
five little birdies came back to play.
 

The Bird Activity Theme is in the Rainbow Resource Room.

 

Ten In A Bed
Action poem

There were ten in a bed and the little one said, 
"Roll over, roll over."   rolling motion
So they all rolled over and one fell out.
There were nine in the bed and the little one said, 
"Roll over, roll over."
So they all rolled over and one fell out....

  This is repeated until you get to the number one.  Each time "roll over" is said, rolling motion is dramatized.
There was one in the bed and the little one said,  "Good night!" 
Counting  Apples
A fingerplay

Five red apples
Hanging on a tree    five fingers held up
The juiciest apples you ever did see!
The wind came past
And gave an angry frown     shake head and look angry
And one little apple came tumbling down.
Four red apples, etc. 

An entire Apple Theme is in the Rainbow Resource Room!
 

Monkeys 
In A Tree 
Action poem

Five little monkeys
Sitting in a tree
Teasing Mr. Crocodile--
"You can't catch me."
"You can't catch me."
 Along comes Mr. Crocodile
As quiet as can be--
SNAP!!!
Continue until all monkeys
are gone

Away swims Mr. Crocodile
As full as he can be!!!

 

Squirrels
Counting poem

Five little squirrels sitting in a tree.
The first one said, "What do I see?"
The second one said, "Some nuts on the ground."
The third one said, "Those nuts I found."
The fourth one said, "I'll race you there."
The Fifth one said, "All right, that's fair."
So they shook their tails and ran with glee.
To the nuts that lay at the foot of the tree.

Dinosaurs
Subtracting Numbers

Five enormous dinosaurs
Letting out a roar--
One went away, and
Then there were four.

Four enormous dinosaurs
Crashing down a tree--
One went away, and 
Then there were three.

Three enormous dinosaurs
Eating tiger stew--
One went away, and 
Then there were two.

Two enormous dinosaurs
Trying to run--
One ran away, and then there was one.

One enormous dinosaur, 
Afraid to be a hero--
He went away, and
Then there was zero.

Take a look at the  Dinosaur Theme
 

Working in Twos

Sequence for reciting is: first child, second child, both together.

I'm the shoe brush
I'm the shoe
Polish one and polish two
Brush, brush, brush.

I'm the dustpan
I'm the broom
We can see a dusty room
Sweep, sweep, sweep

I'm the candle
I'm the wick
It's getting dark now
Light up the wick, tsk, task, task.

I'm the letter
I'm the stamp
We stick together if we're damp.
 

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Lots of books about counting are listed in Preschool Books Listed by Themes
For activities go to the Counting and Number Theme.
There is also a  Number Activity Theme in the Rainbow Resource Room!

For more curriculum ideas and preschool activities go to 
Click Here for Activity Central
Or
Search the Preschool Rainbow

You're invited to share your ideas and activities for
early childhood education
E-mail GayleE-mail Gayle

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