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  • Writer's pictureJenny Ferris


As part of my video series to build resources for teachers and students who are delving into remote learning, here are some great fingerplays for young (and not so young!) students to sing along with and perform at home.

A lot of these videos include puppets, but are still able to be performed just using your bare hands. However, please feel free to share these videos with your students so they can experience the puppetry element, albeit from a distance!

Hickory Dickory Dock

The classic nursery rhyme Hickory Dickory Dock has stood the test of time. It is great for developing a singing voice over a wide range, building a sense of compound time and can be used to experiment with tempo (make your mouse climb up the clock reeeeeeally slowly and then SCURRY down the other side!)

5 Cheeky Monkeys

5 Cheeky Monkeys is predominantly a spoken-word chant (though there is an opportunity right at the end to engage your singing voice for some so-mi practice). It is also a counting song and great for building suspense through storytelling.

You can also explore dynamics in the section "along came a crocodile, quiet as can be"

Skin & Bones

This song really is the gift that keeps on giving! It's a great storytelling opportunity and I like to bring it out each Halloween, but it also sits really nicely in a head voice for students working on finding their singing voice (particularly older beginners).

It is a la tetratonic tone set (m r d l,) and it's in compound time. There are so many things you can use this song to teach! It also works well as a composition tool if you have your students add a few extra lines at the end of the song and then notate the rhythm of those words.

Goin' Round The Mountain

Goin' Round The Mountain is a song that I'd always learned as a chopstick game, until the wonderful Rosalie Scott showed me this dexterity-building fingerplay!

I've shared it with the generalist teachers at my school, who now use it as a warm-up before long writing sessions.

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