Spring fingerplays for children are excellent teaching tools for exercising memory and recall skills. They can also be an excellent transition activity and an entertaining way to fill a few spare minutes during the day.
Fingerplays are simply activities that use the fingers to illustrate parts of the story, such as One Potato, Two Potato, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, or Monkeys on the Bed.
For instance, the traditional fingerplay The Itsy Bitsy Spider is perfect for lessons on April showers. This classic song is loved by children, especially younger ones, and the hand motions that go along with the text are simple to learn. Teach children the movements by demonstrating a few times, and make sure to sing the song slowly. For preschool children, learning the words first, and then tackling the fingerplay, can reduce confusion.
Enhance lessons about wind or rain by using fingerplays that encourage the children to imitate rain falling, wind blowing, or clouds swaying. Incorporate fingerplays about seeds growing or flowers blooming in lessons about plants or gardens. Depending on the age of the children and how much time you have for the activity, you may also encourage the kids to come up with their own fingerplays instead of simply teaching them one you made up or adopted from another source. Creativity can blossom as children come up with ways to express text in hand motions.
As you have children develop their own fingerplays about spring, encourage them to work in steps. You may even refrain from telling them at the beginning of the activity that it is going to be a fingerplay. Start by coming up with a spring theme, then come up with a short text about the theme, and, finally, pair hand motions with the text.
Spring Themes for Inspiration
Expand your library of fingerplays by exploring the many themes related to spring like:
- Baby animals
Develop spring fingerplays for children around themes like Easter, flowers, or St. Patrick's Day. These teaching tools help children learn listening and verbal skills, and the finger motions develop fine and gross motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. In addition, they are fun spring activities for everyone to enjoy, not only the kids.
Developed Spring Fingerplays for Children
Try these educational resources for ready-to-use fingerplays:
- Preschool Education: The arrival of spring means an abundance of new flowers and plants. This website offers an extensive collection of rhymes and fingerplays based on these themes.
- Step by Step Childcare: Sing a song about springtime or daffodils and finish up with a traditional fingerplay that almost everyone knows: The Itsy Bitsy Spider.
- Delamar: Easter is a perennial spring theme; Delamar has two easy fingerplays suitable for most ages.
- Preschool Learning and Crafts: Teach kids one or several of these Easter fingerplays, which have both secular and religious themes.
Extend the fun of learning spring fingerplays by letting students perform them for their parents or other classes. Alternatively, use a camera or computer to record the fingerplay and then play it back for the kids' enjoyment. Depending on the age of the children for whom the plays are intended, you can vary the amount of freedom included in the activity. Older students can develop their own unique movements and create their own fingerplays based on springtime ideas and objects, which is also an exercise in creativity.