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Baby Rhymes and Finger Play Songs For Language and Motor Skills Development

pat a cake finger play songs

For centuries, children have been learning language and vocabulary through the singing of songs and baby rhymes. As children get older, finger play songs are great for added gross and fine motor development. It’s amazing the songs that stick with little ones and how they can be fun, active, social, and educational activities.

While you can watch many different videos of these baby rhymes, they are most effective if sung to your little one. The additional benefit of hearing it from their parents and playing along will provide both with a strong bonding experience that cannot be surpassed with a video.

Baa Baa Black Sheep / ABCs / Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Since these are all the same tune, you can create a medley of all three. Sing one verse of each song. Since they’re all the same tune, it’ll create a fun baby “mashup”


Row Row Row

Row row row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily merrily merrily merrily

Life is but a dream


Clap Handies

Clap handies clap handies til Daddy comes home

Daddy has money and Mommy has none

Clap handies clap handies til Daddy comes home


Wee Willie Winkie

Wee Willie WInkie

Runs through the town



In his nightgown

Wrapping at the window [ pretend to knock on a door ]

Crying at the lock [ put your hand next to your mouth pretending to whipser in a door lock ]

“Are the children in their beds?

It’s now 8 o clock.”


Finger Play Songs for Babies

These finger plays are great for you to interact with your little one. While your baby may not be able to do them alone, hold their hands and show them the movements. Before you know it, they’ll be so much bigger and doing these fingerplays by themselves (tear).

  • Pat-A-Cake
  • Itsy Bitsy – Fine Motor
  • Wheels on the Bus  – Gross Motor
  • This Little Pig


Finger Play Songs for Toddlers

Some of these just more than just the fingers to include more of your child’s gross motor skills. As your toddler continues to work on their coordination and motor skills, they’ll become better at these games. 

  • Where is Thumbkin – Fine Motor
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes  – Gross Motor
  • I’m a Little Tea Pot – Gross Motor
  • Skidamarink – Gross Motor
  • Walking Walking – Gross Motor
  • Hokey Pokey – Gross Motor


featured image from flickr – Jenni Lloyd

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