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Wednesday, July 10, 2024


It's important for early childhood educators to understand how nursery rhymes and finger plays help children develop language skills and small motor skills. It's also important to help families understand the value in these simple rhymes so they can reinforce them at home.

What skills can children develop by saying nursery rhymes and finger plays?

Engagement – Doing a finger play is a natural way to engage children’s attention and help them focus.

Oral language – Repetition of finger plays and nursery  rhymes builds oral language skills.

Auditory memory – Children activate their short term memory as they memorize rhymes.

Comprehension – Most finger plays and nursery rhymes have a simple story plot for children to follow.

Imagination – With so much time spent in front of a screen, finger plays and nursery rhymes encourage children to make pictures in their brains.

Sequence – Remembering the sequence in finger plays can help children retell stories.

Phonological awareness – Nursery rhymes and finger plays build a foundation for rhyme, rhythm and alliteration.

Eye-hand coordination – Visual connections with finger plays are important for writing and reading.

Small motor skills – Doing finger plays is like sending the fingers to the gym to exercise.

Active Learning - Multiple senses are engaged as children watch and wiggle their fingers and repeat rhymes.

Purposeful Practice for Automaticity
(aka repetition) - Children will enjoy saying these rhymes over and over.

Brain Breaks - Children will be oxygenating the brain and crossing the midline as they do finger plays. Memorizing poems and rhymes is also good for short term memory.

Executive function – Children develop self-regulation and impulse control when they participate in finger plays.

Social skills – All children can be successful with finger plays with this group experience.

Transitions - Finger Plays can be used to entertain children during transitions or any time you’ve got a minute or two.