Fingerplays and songs encourage development in young children

Using fingerplays and songs in early childhood is a great way to help young children learn language, gain large and small motor skills, and work on memory and social skills.

Music is a powerful tool that helps young children learn new thinking skills. Photo credit: Pixabay.

Music is a powerful tool that helps young children learn new thinking skills. Photo credit: Pixabay.

Music is a powerful tool that helps young children learn new thinking skills. Using fingerplays, songs and rhymes helps children learn language by increasing vocabulary, learning the sounds of words and hearing the rhythm of language. Children can also gain large and small motor skills by performing movements required in fingerplays. Memory and social skills are also learned by participating in fingerplays, songs and rhymes.

There are many familiar fingerplays, songs and rhymes that early childhood educators remember from their own childhood and many that are new and unknown! A new searchable online database through the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care makes including fingerplays, songs and rhymes easy for early childhood educators, parents and grandparents.

The Fingerplays and Songs for Child Care database provides activity sheets that are ready-to-do and are designed to help young children of different ages learn, develop and flourish. The activities can be used in all types of early childhood settings such as classrooms or family child care homes, and can fit into existing lesson plans or be used as stand-alone activities. Early childhood providers can search the database in three ways:

Search for fingerplays and songs

View an alphabetical list (by title) of all fingerplays and songs or

Browse individual fingerplays and songs to see what catches your eye.

Each activity sheet includes all the information needed to conduct the activity. The activity sheet indicates what type of activity is shown (fingerplay, song or rhyme) and includes any movements, motions or music that is needed to perform the activity. The activities are designed to help young children of all different ages expand their learning and are all written by early childhood staff that work in Extension services around the United States. The fingerplays, songs and rhyme activity sheets are easy-to-use and ready-to-implement for early childhood educators. Activity sheets are constantly being added to the database so there is always something new for educators to add to their toolbox.

Click on Bubble Dance  to view a sample fingerplay activity sheet that is included in the Fingerplays and Songs for Child Care database. For more fingerplays and songs ideas visit the Fingerplays and Songs for Child Care database. For additional ideas and resources to support early childhood education visit the eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care website. For more articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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