Fingerplays and hand rhymes are short poems, chants or songs that rhyme. The lyrics correspond to hand movements and pair the words with actions (think “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Pat-A-Cake” to name a few!)
Using fingerplays and songs in early childhood is a great way to help young children learn language and help them sharpen their memory through imitation and repetition, while also getting a feel for musical beats and rhythm…but it’s also a fantastic, fun and engaging way to strengthen their fine motor skills!
Most fingerplays encourage finger isolation while also encouraging motor planning skills and bilateral coordination movements (using two sides of the body at once). These actions help to develop hand and finger strength as well as coordination.
The OT Toolbox has a great article that explains more about the fine motor benefits of finger plays as well as suggestions of fingerplays that have been loved by generations of children. Check it out HERE! They also have a great article and suggestions for fun hand rhymes…check those out HERE!
If you have concerns about your child’s motor development please consult with their pediatrician.
For more information about developmental milestones and activities to encourage your child’s healthy development refer to our Child Development page