Finger and hand play O-S

Old Tom Tomato

Once a little apple seed

Once I saw a bunny

Once I saw a little bird

Once I saw an octopus

One little finger

Open, shut them

Papiyon volé / Butterfly fly, fly

Piggie Wig and Piggie Wee

Pit-pat

Plant a little seed

Put your finger on your head

Right hand, left hand

Roly-poly caterpillar

Run little crab on the sandy beach

See my fingers merrily dancing

See my fingers walking walking

See, see, see, three birds are in a tree

See the carrots

Six little pigs

Something in my pocket

Sometimes my hands are by my side

Stars are twinkling in the sky

Sunflower, sunflower

 

Last updated: 6/15/2020 12:57 PM

These songs are nursery rhymes and other traditional songs compiled,

illustrated and music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

Return to the ‘Singing games for children’ home page

To listen to music from these songs click on 🔊

To watch the author sing a song click on the title at:

 

© Dany Rosevear 2013 All rights reserved

You are free to copy, distribute, display and perform these works under the following conditions:

·       you must give the original author credit

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·       any of these can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder

Your fair use and other rights are no way affected by the above.


 

Old Tom Tomato O

 

 


For a gardening or fruit focus.

 

1-3. make fist into a ball. 4. Open mouth and put fingers in. 5--7. Stroke throat.

8. hold out hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Old Tom Tomato, like a red ball,

Basked in the sunshine by the garden wall.

Along came … with his mouth open wide

And old Tom Tomato popped inside.

Down, down, down, down the red lane -

We won’t see old Tom Tomato again.

But … just chuckled and said ‘Ha ha!

I like red tomatoes, please give me some more.’

 


 

 

Once a little apple seed  🔊

 

 


Demonstrate the wonder of new life burgeoning from the tiny to the large. Talk about how other things grow from tiny beginnings.

This song can also be sung to ‘Incy wincy spider’.

Music arranged by Dany Rosevear.

 

‘Plant’ seed in the palm. Fingers moving downwards indicate rain falling. Draw a big circle to make the sun, wiggle fingers to make rays. Tap palm then place hands together and move them upwards and out to ‘grow’ the apple tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once a little apple seed, was planted in the ground,

Down came the raindrops, falling all around.

Out came the big sun, as bright as bright could be,

And that little apple seed grew up, to be an apple tree!


 

 

Once I saw a bunny 🔊

 

 


Play this as a game with a baby’s fist or by demonstrating the hand play to young children to copy.

 

1. Make bunny ears with index and middle finger. 2. Make baby’s fist, or fist or other hand, to be the cabbage. 3. Nibble fingers on baby’s or the other hand. 4. Make finger bunny ears as before. 5. Tap head, tap wrist. Bounce baby on knees or make hand hop away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once I saw a bunny,

And a green, green cabbage head.

“I think I’ll have some cabbage,”

The little bunny said.

So he nibbled and he nibbled,

And he pricked his ears to say,

“Now I think it’s time that I should be hopping on my way!”


 

 

Once I saw a little bird O

 

 


A Mother Goose nursery rhyme and hand play game.

 

1. Make thumb and forefinger open and close. 2. Forefinger hops on palm of hand. 3. Hold up palm of hand. 4. Make window shape then wave hand. 5. Wag first two fingers up and down. 6. Cross wrists and flap hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once I saw a little bird

Come hop, hop, hop;

So I said, "Little bird,

Won’t you stop, stop, stop?"

I was going to the window

To say, "How do you do?”

But he shook his little tail,

And away he flew.


 

 

Once I saw an octopus 🔊

 

 


A number hand play with an ocean life theme.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Link thumbs and curl fingers into fists, make wavy sea with hands. 2. Put hand to mouth and call, make a swimming motion. 3. With thumbs linked extend fingers. 4. Starting with little finger count them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Once I saw an octopus,

In the deep blue sea.

I called, "Hey, Mr. Octopus,

Won't you swim with me?"

Then out came his tentacles,

So very long and straight.

I counted them, “One, two, three, four,

Five, six, seven, eight!”


 

 

 

One little finger O

 

This is the version I sang in the 1980s. The most recent ones have a different tune and words.

 

Make the movements suggested by the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


One little finger, one little finger,

One little finger, tap, tap, tap!

Point to the ceiling, point to the floor

And lay it in your lap, lap, lap.

 

Two little fingers, two little fingers,

Two little fingers, tap, tap, tap!

Point to the ceiling, point to the floor

And lay them in your lap, lap, lap.

 

Three little fingers, three little fingers...

 

Four little fingers, four little fingers...

 

Five little fingers, five little fingers

Five little fingers, tap, tap, tap

Point to the ceiling, point to the floor

And then behind your back, back, back!

 


 

Open, shut them O

 

You can find many versions of this on the internet but this one works for me.

 

The words tell you what to do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Open, shut them, open, shut them,

Give a little clap, clap clap!

Open, shut them, open, shut them,

Lay them in your lap, lap, lap.

 

Creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them,

Right up to your chin, chin chin.

Open up your little mouth,

But do not let them in, in, in!

 

Open, shut them, open, shut them,

To your shoulders fly, fly, fly!

Now like all the little birdies,

Fly up in the sky, sky, sky.

 

Roll them, roll them, roll them, roll them,

Roll them just like this, this, this.

Wave them, wave them, wave them, wave them,

Blow a little kiss, kiss, kiss.

 


 

 

Papiyon volé / Butterfly fly, fly 🔊

 

 


A Créole Carnival song from Antilla.

English translation by Dany Rosevear.

Get everyone up on their feet and dancing to the carnival rhythm.

Accompany this music with percussion and whistles.

 

Cross arms at the wrist and flap hands up down and around as you dance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Papiyon volé,

Cé volé nou ka volé! (cevo lenoo kavole)

Papiyon volé,

Cé volé nou ka volé!

 

Butterfly, fly, fly,

You do nothing else but fly!

Butterfly, aye, aye,

You do nothing else but fly!

 

Papiyon volé,

Cé volé nou ka volé!

Papiyon volé,

Cé volé nou ka volé!

 

Butterfly, why why,

You do nothing else but fly?

Butterfly, goodbye,

You do nothing else but fly!

 

Papiyon volé,

Cé volé nou ka volé!

Papiyon volé,

Cé volé nou ka volé!

 


 

 

 

Piggie Wig and Piggie Wee 🔊

 

 


Another classic from Emilie Poulsson’s ‘Finger Plays’ originaly published 1889.

 

1. Raise one thumb then the other, raise fingers and thumbs hide behind them. 2. Wiggle thumbs then peep through fingers. 3. Hands swing apart, thumbs run in.

4. Thumbs run forward. 5. Pigs / thumbs fall into open hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Piggy Wig and Piggy Wee,

Hungry pigs as pigs could be,

For their dinner had to wait,

Down behind the garden gate.

 

Piggy Wig and Piggy Wee,

Climbed the barnyard gate to see,

Peeping through the gate so high,

But no dinner could they spy.

 

Piggy Wig and Piggy Wee,

Got down, sad as pigs could be;

But the gate soon opened wide

And they scampered forth outside.

 

Piggy Wig and Piggy Wee,

What was their delight to see

Dinner ready, not far off –

Such a full and tempting trough!

 

Piggy Wig and Piggy Wee,

Greedy pigs as pigs could be,

For their dinner ran pell mell;

In the trough both piggies fell.

 


 

 

Pit-pat 🔊

 

 


A classic from A.W.I. Chitty’s ‘Finger Play songs for the nursery class’ originally published 1949.

 

1. Tap lightly on the floor / table/ palm of the hand. 2. Rap rhytmn with knuckles as before. 3. Clap hands to rhythm. 4. Flap elbows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Pit-pat, pit-pat,

Listen to the raindrops,

Pit-pat, pit-pat,

On a rainy day.

Pit-pat, pit-pat,

Listen to the raindrops,

That’s what my fingers say.

 

Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat,

Listen to the Postie,

Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat,

What a busy day!

Rat-a-tat, rat-a-tat,

Listen to the Postie

That’s what my knuckles say.

 

Clap, clap, clap, clap,

Listen to the children,

Clap, clap, clap, clap,

Happy all the day!

Clap, clap, clap, clap,

Listen to the children,

That’s what my hands both say.

 

Flip-flap, flip-flap,

Listen to the birdies.

Flip-flap, flip-flap,

Fluttering away!

Flip-flap, flip-flap,

Listen to the birdies,

That’s what my elbows say.

 


 

 

 

Plant a little seed 🔊

 

 


This dear little song and game was written by Nancy Stewart a children's singer-songwriter based in Seattle, Washington. http://www.nancymusic.com/index.htm .

Great for identifying, describing and sorting vegetable and fruits.

 

1. Cup hand to make a pot, thumb and forefinger push seed into the pot three times in time to the music. 2. The other hand ‘grows’ up from the pot. 3. Place one fist on top of the other upwards in time to the music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Plant a little seed,

Watch it grow,

Soon we will have a vegetable.

 

Plant a little seed,

Watch it root,

Soon we will have a piece of fruit.

 

Plant a little seed,

Watch it sprout,

Let’s all try to figure it out.

(Is it a fruit, or a vegetable?)

 


 

 

Put your finger on your head O

 

This song was written for children by Woody Guthrie; inevitably through the folk process in the classroom words have changed slightly.

 

Make the movements suggested by the words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Put your finger on your head, on your head;

Put your finger on your head, on your head;

Put your finger on your head;

Tell me is it green or red?

Put your finger on your head, on your head.

 

Put your finger on your nose, on your nose;

Put your finger on your nose, on your nose;

Put your finger on your nose

And feel the cold wind blow,

Put your finger on your nose, on your nose.

 

Put your finger on your cheek, on your cheek;

Put your finger on your cheek, on your cheek;

Put your finger on your cheek

And leave it for a week,

Put your finger on your cheek, on your cheek.

 

Put your finger on your ear, on your ear...

And leave it for a year,

Put your finger on your ear on your ear

 

Put your finger on your finger, on your finger,

Put your finger on your finger, on your finger,

Put your finger on your finger, on your finger, on your finger;

Put your finger on your finger on your finger.

 

Put your fingers all together; all together...

And never mind the weather...

 

 


 

 

Right hand, left hand 🔊

 

 


Learn to identify left and right hands.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

1. Raise left hand. 2. Show right palm and then left. 3. Roll hands around. 4. Show left palm and then right. 5. Pound fists together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


This is my right hand,

I'll raise it up high.

This is my left hand,

I'll touch the sky.

Right hand, left hand,

Roll them around,

Left hand, right hand,

Pound, pound, pound!


 

 

Roly-poly caterpillar

 

 


This can also be played with a baby creeping fingers down arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roly-poly caterpillar into a corner crept,

(creep finger down arm to the palm)

Spun himself a blanket

(roll arms)

And for a long time slept.

(lay hands to cheek)

Roly poly caterpillar woke up by and by;

(open fists and stretch arms)

Found himself with pretty wings,

Changed to a butterfly!

(hook thumbs and flutter fingers)

 


 

 

Run little crab on the sandy beach 🔊

 

 


A hand play for holiday time. From ‘Songs from the nursery school’ published 1937, written by Roberta Whitehead to a French folk tune. Second two verses by Dany Rosevear.

Verse 1. Cross left hand over the other, wiggle finger of right hand. Flap hands then as before. 2. Place one hand on top of the other with thumbs out. Make hand ‘swim’. Make shark jaws with forearms and finger teeth. Open and close ‘mouth’. 3. Cross hands at wrist and flap upwards. Open and close hands. Fly as before.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Run, little crab, on the sandy beach,

Scuttle and scurry and hide out of reach,

The children are coming with pattering feet,

Run for they think you are good to eat!

 

Swim, little fish, in the deep blue sea,

Hurry and scurry and swim wild and free,

A great shark is coming with sharp, sharp teeth,

Swim for it thinks you are good to eat!

 

Fly, little bird, where you can’t be reached,

Up in the sky and away from the beach,

Crocodile’s coming with scampering feet,

Fly for it thinks you are good to eat!


 

 

See my fingers merrily dancing 🔊

 

 


It’s time for tea.

 

1. Wiggle fingers. 2. Join thumbs then forefingers to make a triangle. 3. Look through the triangle at little fingers. 4. Wave little fingers. 5. Make a fist with one hand and put it on the palm of the other. 6. Pretend to drink from fist. 7. Place knuckles together with thumbs for handle and pinkies extended for spout. 8. Pretend to pour into partner's 'cup' with other hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See my fingers merrily dancing,

I can see a window frame.

I peep through it and I see

Two little fingers wave to me.

Here's a cup and here's a saucer

Now some water I will drink.

Here's a teapot with a spout,

Hold your cup and I'll pour it out.

 


 

 

See my fingers walking, walking 🔊

 

 


A finger play for the nursery.

 

1.- 2. Fingers of right hand walk on table.  3.-4. Place left hand upright on table with thumb for chimney pointing upwards. Knock on the table three times. Lift left hand and fingers of right hand walk underneath. Do the same with other movements.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See my fingers walking, walking, altogether in a row!

See my fingers walking, walking, altogether to and fro!

Here is a big house tall and wide,

Knock at the door and walk inside!

 

See my fingers running, running…

See my fingers jumping, jumping…

See my fingers sliding, sliding…

 


 

 

 

See, see, see, three birds are in a tree 🔊

 

 


A Dutch nursery classic. I have been unable to find the original Dutch version of this song – let me know if you have this information.

Make up your own rhyming verses; I made up the third verse.

 

1. Shade eyes with hands. 2. Hold up three fingers. 3. Point to thumb, index finger and middle finger, then rock baby bird in arms. 4. As before.

Verse 2. And 3. Turn hand upside down for third

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See, see, see,

Three birds are in a tree;

One can chirp

And one can sing

One is just a tiny thing.

See, See, See

Three birds are in a tree

 

Look, look, look,

Three ducks are in a brook;

One is white, and one is brown,

One is swimming upside down,

Look, look, look

Three ducks are in a brook.

 

Hey, hey, hey,

Three monkeys out at play,

One can bounce and one can swing

One can do most anything.

Hey, hey, hey,

Three monkeys out at play.

 

 


 

 

See the carrots 🔊

 

 


A simple hand play to support gardening and healthy eating topics.

Music by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Make hands form a carrot and point to the ground. 2. Tug to pull them out.

3. Scrub up and down using the palms of your hands. 4. Pretend to eat carrots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


See the carrots in the ground,

I pull them hard without a sound,

I wash and clean them up and down,

I love to eat them all year round!

 


 

 

Six little pigs (2) 🔊

 

 


A farmyard 'please' and 'thank you' hand play.

Words and melody by Helen Call  and published around 1923 in ‘Songs of Childhood’.

 

1. Hold up six fingers. 2. Put hand to eyes, wiggle little finger. 3. Roll fists round each other. 4. Make arm and hand into a tree. 5. Put hand to ear. 6. Put hand to mouth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Six little pigs in the straw with their mother,

Bright eyes, curly tails, tumbling on each other.

Bring them apples from the orchard trees,

And hear those piggies say, "Please, please, please!"

 

Six little pigs in the straw with their mother,

Bright eyes, curly tails, tumbling on each other.

Bring them apples from the orchard trees,

But instead of “Thank you!” they’ll go, "Wee! Wee! Wee!"

 


 

 

Something in my pocket 🔊

 

 


Ready to put on your smile – what a difference it makes!

 

1. Point to pocket on chest. 2. Tap cheeks. 3. Place hands on pocket. 4. Nod.

5. Shake finger. 6. Take out smile and put it on face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I’ve got something in my pocket

That belongs across my face,

I keep it very close at hand,

In a most convenient place.

I know you couldn’t guess it

If you guessed a long, long while.

So I’ll take it out and put it on,

It’s a great big friendly SMILE!

 


 

 

Sometimes my hands are at my side 🔊

 

 


A calming down song. Change the last line to describe next quiet activity.

Tune by Dany Rosevear.

 

Make actions to suit the explicit words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sometimes my hands are at my side;

Then behind my back they hide.

Sometimes I wiggle my fingers so,

Shake them fast, Shake them slow.

Sometimes my hands go

“Clap, clap, clap!”

Then I rest them in my lap.

Now they’re quiet as quiet can be,

For now it’s storytime, you see.

 


 

 

Stars are twinkling in the sky 🔊

 

 


Words and melody by Alice Olsen.

 

Verse 1. Make fingers ‘twinkle’. Move hands up as the music gats higher and ‘over’ as they shine down. Verse 2. As before. Put hands to cheek and close eyes. Make hands twinkle. Cover eyes then peep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Stars are twinkling in the sky,

Way up high, way up high.

Stars are twinkling in the in sky,

Shining down on me.

 

We can see them twinkling bright,

Through the night, through the night.

We can see them twinkling bright,

In the dark night sky.

 

 


 

 

 

Sunflower, sunflower  🔊

 

 


Words by Sanford Jones who also wrote a melody I was unable to find; the tune below is by Dany Rosevear.

 

1. Stand tall with hands to face, fingers outstretched, draw a circle. 2. Point then put circled thumb and forefinger to eyes. 3. Stand tall and sweep hands fown and out like leaves. 4. Hand to heart then put hands to face and wiggle fingers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sunflower, sunflower, yellow and round.

You are the prettiest flower I've found.

Tall, straight, full of grace.

I love the light in your bright yellow face.

 

 


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