I was reading Melitsa’s blog post about finger rhymes and it reminded me how finger rhymes and action songs can help children develop their fine motor skills. Copying finger movements will strengthen muscles, increase dexterity and help children develop control of fine motor movements.
From as young as six months babies will love action rhymes like Round and Round the Garden, Pat-a-Cake, or This Little Piggy Went to Market. These songs and rhymes are great for encouraging interaction and whilst they are starting to hear these songs and see the actions they will start to join in.
One of the easiest motor actions in songs and rhymes is clapping and one of the most popular songs is "If Youre Happy and You Know it" which also incorporates the gross motor actions of stamping feet and nodding your head. Other songs which involve clapping are Clapping song, We All Clap Hands Together and Open, Shut them. Other favourites action songs and rhyme, Insey Winsey Spider and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,
Songs that can include a multitude of actions eg Copy me are great for introducing new motor movements as the repetitive nature of the song makes it easy for children to learn and then they can use imitation skills to practice new motor skills.
Other favourite ones with small children are Two Little Dicky Birds, One Finger One Thumb, Tommy Thumb, and Two Fat Gentlemen, and as Melitsa says bigger children might like the finger play Here is the Church.
What are your favourites?