10 Best Fingerplays for Preschoolers in 2018


Fingerplays for preschoolers are simple nurseries and stories we learned as children, which incorporated hand movements alongside the song or story. As kids, we didn’t realize that we were engaging in simple fingerplays, or that these fingerplays played a critical part in our education!

Fingerplays and songs for preschoolers are an excellent way for kids to improve their memory, have fun, engage more of their senses, and learn how to think about how their senses relate to each other. From matching hand movements to the words they hear to singing on the beat, these activities really help with their development.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the top fingerplays this year.

Review of the Top 10 Fingerplays in 2018

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1. Wee Sing Children’s Songs and Fingerplays 

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This book of songs and fingerplays has all the classic songs that most parents expect their children to listen to and experience, and it’s presented in a very accessible format. The content is particularly aimed at helping children develop confidence and expand their vocabulary. The songs are very simple and fun, so children can quickly remember them and begin to learn.

One thing that you should know about these fingerplays is that the songs in this set are very short. While this can be convenient for a quick lesson in class time, they can be too short for car rides.

If you are a parent who truly wants to amuse your child at home or to teach lessons to your kindergarten class, this is a great choice of both songs and fingerplays.


  • Ideal for ages three and up
  • Includes instructional booklet
  • Easy-to-learn and fun movements
  • Good for preschool and kindergarten classes


  • Too short songs
  • Different hand movements

2. Fingerplays For Rainy Days: Rhymes, Songs, and Games for Simple Fun with Little Children 

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This book is one that is great for teachers or parents who want and need to entertain children under the age of seven. It covers a variety of unique fingerplays that most children have not learned before, so the whole book can be very stimulating to them as well as to adults.

Additionally, the back of the book is full of unique craft and project ideas, so you can find other ways to amuse your children on rainy days other than using fingerplays and songs.

One big drawback is that the book itself doesn’t have as many diagrams or photos to show you how to do the movements for the fingerplays. For those who are not very creative, this can be a frustrating discovery. Still, if you are looking for a unique take on activities to do on a rainy day, this is a great choice.


  • Unique songs
  • New creative ideas
  • Good variety


  • Some movements not included
  • Not enough pictures

3. The Bilingual Book of Rhymes, Songs, Stories and Fingerplays 

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We love this book because it teaches songs, rhymes, and fingerplays in two languages, which are Spanish and English. For children who are learning two or more languages or growing up bilingual, songs are the easiest and the most effective way to reiterate their learnings.

Another great thing about this book is that everything included is organized by theme, which makes it simple to find what you’re looking for or create a lesson plan around a specific idea.

One drawback is that most of the songs are translated from English into Spanish and not vice versa, so there is a slight imbalance in the language instruction.

Still, this book is a great resource for finding a lot of different material to enhance the children’s’ learning abilities while simultaneously boosting language skills. And if you want a book that includes a huge amount of content without being overwhelmed, this is a great choice.


  • Bilingual instruction
  • Huge variety of content
  • Organized
  • Affordable


  • Spelling errors in Spanish
  • Some things are not translated well

4. The Complete Book and CD Set of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants 

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There are more than 700 pieces of content in this book, and the included CDs have more than 50 songs on them. With this, you can teach and amuse children for many months!

The book is easy to read and has nice images, but it doesn’t always include all of the diagrams that you might want to use in the songs. Still, there are good descriptions in most cases that make up for this.

If you’re looking for a single book that can provide a huge variety and do not mind having to do a little flipping to find what you’re looking for, this is a smart choice. Teachers of preschool and grade school will love this, too.


  • For students ages three to six years old
  • Multiple songs and activities
  • Helps develop the child’s imagination, body coordination, and listening skills


  • No diagrams for movements
  • Needs better layout
  • Black-and-white images

5. The Eentsy, Weentsy Spider: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes 

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Many people turn to fingerplays with their children or classes because they are a great kind of traditional action rhyme that they remember learning as children. This book embodies the mentality of “oldies but goodies” since every song you remember from back then is in this book!

Some people may find the pictures in this book very boring because they are black and white, but that actually works out for you. In most cases, when the pictures are too enticing, children will want to look at those more than they will want to do the fingerplays.

There are 38 total fingerplays in this book, and they all include the illustrations that you need to learn and perform the hand motions with ease. Likewise, you do not have to recall the right tune of the song since the corresponding musical notes are included.


  • Book pictures do not distract from the lesson
  • Multiple fingerplays
  • Includes all illustrations


  • Pictures all in black and white
  • Hand drawings are boring

6. Get Set for School Sing Along: Songs and fingerplays to Promote School Readiness 

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If you have a child who will be heading to school in the next year or two, this product is a great way to help him or her start learning the skills necessary for the school like memorization. It’s also a great resource for a preschool instructor.

Our favorite part of this set of fingerplays is that the vocals on the included CD are not annoying or overly cheesy, which means even parents can get through listening to it hundreds of times! The vocals and lyrics make listening fun for everyone.

As long as you take things slow when teaching these somewhat complex fingerplays, you’ll be teaching the kids a lot of basic things in no time.


  • Easy to teach slowly
  • Fun and educational
  • Not annoying
  • Good vocals and lyrics


  • Can be overwhelming if you teach too quickly
  • Some have more complex movements

7. Music from The Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems 

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In some cases, all you really need to do a great fingerplay is have the right music. You may be familiar with many songs and rhymes but don’t have the music necessary to accompany the fingerplay while actually instructing the lessons to children.

This set of CDS, which includes 50 total songs, is a great way to cover a wide variety of topics. The discs are easy-to-use and a simple way to keep the attention of the kids when you just want to teach them some simple skills.

However, if you need something that comes with a book for additional instruction, this book is not the right choice. It won’t give you that kind of detailed information unless you purchase the accompaniment book, so keep this in mind when making your selection.


  • Comprehensive CD collection
  • Fun to listen to
  • Engaging for children
  • High-quality recordings


  • No accompanying book

8. Musical Games, Fingerplays and Rhythmic Activities for Early Childhood 

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This book is a very old book, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. In fact, the book returns us to a simpler time that makes everything seem a bit more streamlined.

The 132 games in this book all include a few pieces of information that both parents and teachers will find very useful. Every song has the recommended ages. Additionally, it includes specific education points that the song is aiming to teach. This can make lesson planning a breeze.

Since this book is so old, it does not include any type of CD or tape that has the music on it. This might be a deterrent to some people, but it’s not a dealbreaker if you’re looking for inspiration for more fingerplays. Also, each song has included notes so that you would know how to sing it properly.


  • Plenty of games
  • Detailed educational lessons
  • Age levels indicated
  • Simple book layout
  • Each song only has two to three notes


  • Very dated book
  • Doesn’t include music

9. Growing With Shapo – Nursery Rhymes for Special Times With Fingerplays and More

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This book features a friendly sheep named Shapo who appears in all of the pages for the fingerplays. While Shapo isn’t a necessity for fingerplays, he does make it very fun for all the kids who are learning them. They love connecting with cartoon-type characters, and Shapo will make the rhymes even more fun.

Another nice thing about this book is that the songs are made to teach both emotional growths as well basic school skills like memorization and vocabulary. This is a feature that isn’t commonly found in nursery rhymes, so it is a nice benefit you might not find elsewhere.


  • Easy to learn and do
  • IQ and EQ development
  • Great for nursery school through kindergarten
  • Features a cute sheep design that kids will connect with


  • Text and figures could be a bit bigger
  • No audio CD included

10. Finger Frolics – Fingerplays For Young Children

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This is another book that falls into the oldie-but-goodie category that a lot of fingerplays fall into. Though it was originally published in the 80s, this book still manages to introduce a huge variety of songs with accompanying diagrams.

By following the diagrams, you can learn the movements for every action rhyme. This book, however, does not come with any type of musical accompaniment, so the only way to teach the rhymes as songs is if you already know the song or look them up.

Still, this book is a great value that provides an interesting variety of rhymes that you might not find elsewhere.


  • Actions are well documented
  • Movements are easy to follow
  • Numerous songs included
  • Variety of covered topics


  • No CD or cassette tape included
  • Can take a long time to learn the songs yourself

4 FAQs about Fun Finger Plays For Toddlers

Fingerplays are a type of nursery rhyme or song that requires children to use their hands and move around to fully get involved in the story. The movements make their brains work while the words keep them engaged.

Some popular fingerplays include the Itsy Bitsy Spider and This Little Piggy, but new fingerplays are constantly created, so why stop there? Finding great preschool songs and fingerplays is key to rounding out their education.

Q1. Why are fingerplays important for children?

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It is said that our brains can learn many concepts most effectively when we are less than nine years old. For that reason, an important part of preschool and grade school is ensuring that children can:

  • develop gross and fine motor skills
  • learn social skills
  • improve their memory
  • use many senses
  • develop an idea of different senses

Fingerplays and accompanying songs are one of the best ways for children to learn these skills. By incorporating these lessons into school and at-home playtime, children can have a great time while also learning skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Q2. What are the different types of fingerplays?

Even if you know that fingerplays are a great way to boost toddlers’ and children’s learning, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have ideas on when to use them most effectively.

Here are some times and events when it can be particularly easy to incorporate fingerplays into a school curriculum or at-home playtime:

  • Seasonal Fingerplays
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The change of seasons is a great time to work on motor senses. Kids will be excited, and it would be easier to get them engaged. Try using winter fingerplays for preschoolers or even spring fingerplays for preschoolers that incorporate the season’s motifs.

For example, fall fingerplays for preschoolers might involve them making leaves that can dance like they are falling from the sky. This kind of play will engage their brains and their hands, which is good for them.

  • Holiday Fingerplays

Another great time to work with fingerplays is during holidays. It can be hard to keep kids focused during the exciting holiday season, but finding something like Thanksgiving fingerplays for preschoolers should do the trick while still being constructive.

Other ideas include Christmas fingerplays for preschoolers religious, Halloween fingerplays for preschoolers (can you say costumes?) or even Valentine’s Day fingerplays and songs for preschoolers! With each of these themes, you can engage the children’s senses with the holidays which is sure to keep them interested.

  • Other Fingerplay Ideas

There are so many more ways you work with fingerplays:

  • Fingerplays for preschoolers about colors
  • Apple fingerplays for preschoolers
  • Fingerplays about pets
  • Family fingerplays
  • Religious fingerplays
  • Bear fingerplays for preschoolers
  • Snowman fingerplays for preschoolers

No matter what theme you decide to follow when choosing a fingerplay, know that there are lots of different ways that it can be used to make kids work their hands and imaginations.

Q3. How do fingerplays work in a classroom setting?

If you want to get an idea of how to incorporate fingerplays into your classroom, this video gives details on the kind of spring seasonal fingerplay that can easily be used in the classroom:

By putting this video up on a screen and doing the dance with your students, you’ll be able to incorporate these kinds of fingerplays into your preschool room in no time at all.

Here are the basic steps that we suggest for running a fingerplay in your classroom:

  1. Show the kids the video.
  2. Demonstrate the dance to them.
  3. Ask them questions about the story that they heard.
  4. Show them each movement.
  5. Do it all together!

Dance together a few times a week so they can remember it. You’ll be surprised when they come to you in a few months asking to do a dance they haven’t done in ages! With the story in mind, it’ll help them remember what they enjoyed about the routine.

Q4. How can fingerplays be used at home?

Are you a parent who wants to use these types of games and educational learnings at home? No problem! It’s definitely possible to play this way with your children at home, and it’ll be a fun memory for you to look back on together as they grow older.

Many parents prefer to do the non-singing version at home and turn it into a kind of storytime instead like the one shown in this video:

Trying something like this is a great way to use fingerplays at home! They can calm children down and make you have a great time together.

Fun Fingerplay Ideas for Playful Preschoolers of All Time

There’s a lot of different fingerplays out there. From classics that we were all raised singing to new songs that will surprise and excite kids. That’s why you shouldn’t count on just our opinion to choose your favorites.

With that in mind, here are a few other favorite fingerplays from around the web. Maybe one of them will stick out to you as your new favorite, too.

Mom Loves Best suggests the classic “I’m a Little Teapot” finger play as one of their favorites. We have to agree; it’s a fun song, while it is short and simple. Plus, it gets your child’s body moving in addition to their brain. How great is that!

Teach Preschool suggests an interactive version of Row Your Boat that requires children to work together as a great choice. This fingerplay can teach them about community and working together while they have a great time!

Let’s Play Kid’s Music suggests Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. This is a good choice for children who are still learning English as it’s a very common song that uses simple but necessary words.

Our Favorite Preschool Fingerplays

Our favorite set of fingerplays in this batch is the Wee Sing Children’s Songs and Fingerplays. This book provides a good variety of topics while also teaching fun hand movements. While the songs are a bit shorter than expected, they are a good length for basic instructions both in and out of class.

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18 Fun Games to Play with Toddlers


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