What brings parents and children from all over the city to Chandler Public Libraries? Storytime! High Five is a great addition to Storytimes at Chandler Public Library, and introduces five key concepts in early literacy: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play. But there's more to say about Early Literacy! Read on to learn about how fingerplays can promote early literacy.
If you’ve been to a storytime, toddler time or lapsit at the Chandler Public Library you’ve probably participated in a fingerplay or two. Fingerplays are certainly fun and silly, and kids really do love them. We include fingerplays in our programs for all those reasons, but we encourage you to keep doing them with your child after you leave the library because fingerplays are an integral piece of early literacy.
Hearing and reciting fingerplays helps children to recognize rhyme and rhythm in language as well as introducing new vocabulary. For example, in “There Was a Little Turtle,” minnow might be a new word for your child.
There Was a Little Turtle
There was a little turtle, (make a small circle w/hand)
He lived in a box, (make box w/hand)
He swam in a puddle (wiggle hands)
He climbed on the rocks. (stack hands on the other)
He snapped at a mosquito, (clap hands)
He snapped at a flea, (clap hands)
He snapped at a minnow, (clap hands)
He snapped at me. (clap hands)
He caught the mosquito, (clap hands)
He caught the flea, (clap hands)
He caught the minnow, (clap hands)
But he didn’t catch me! (shake index finger)
Fingerplays also develop those ever important fine motor skills which are necessary for holding and manipulating a pencil. They do this by requiring children to focus on using their fingers to form an eensy weensy spider, a bee hive full of bees or maybe even five fat peas.
Doing a fingerplay with your child is a multisensory activity. Your child listens to you recite the rhyme, watches your hands make the movement and then makes those movements with their own hands. This makes it easier for your child to remember the song or rhyme.
There are so many wonderful fingerplays that can easily be shared with and enjoyed by children of all ages, including infants.
TWO LITTLE EYES
Two little eyes to look around (point to eyes)
Two little ears to hear a sound (point to ears)
One little nose to smell what’s sweet (point to nose)
One little mouth that likes to eat (pretend to gobble up finger)
Yum, yum, yum!
A quick internet search will turn up lots of old favorites along with a number of new ones, or check out these books for even more fabulous fingerplays to share with your child.