Rice Fingerplay Rhymes

Rice Story - Gopher Fingerplay 1

A Bit About Fingerplay

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Fingerplay is often presented in early childhood classrooms. They are story-sketches because there is  imagery involved in fingerplay but it is usually not a fully developed story. For this reason, finger play is great for toddlers and for children who  have not yet developed long attention spans.

Story-sketches are the first step to help children develop an ever increasing ability to comprehend symbolic representations. In time, after exposure to many story-sketches, children will have the capacity to string more complex ideas and images together. Consequently, they will understand and appreciate longer and more intricate stories.

Holding images in the head requires a lot of brain power, and manipulating these mental images in complex ways requires a good deal of neural networking. The brain workout achieved through storytelling is important not only to develop imaginative thinking, but also to develop abstract and complex thinking. Therefore, the story-sketch serves as a good beginning exercise to prime the brain for more complex image making to come.

Fingerplay in Rice

The following fingerplay stories were created especially for rice.

Fingerplay 1: Gophers

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Five Little Gophers Digging a Hole
They’re Digging and Chomping and Out of Control
Five Little Gophers Peek Up And See
A Cat Comes Near and Away They Flee

Five Little Gophers Digging a Hole
They’re Digging and Chomping and Out of Control
Five Little Gophers Peek Up And See
The Rain Pounds Down and Away They Flee

Five Little Gophers Digging a Hole
They’re Digging and Chomping and Out of Control
Five Little Gophers Peek Up And See
A Coyote Jumps Out and Away They Flee

Five Little Gophers Digging a Hole
They’re Digging and Chomping and Out of Control
Five Little Gophers Peek Up And See
A Hawk Circles ‘Round and Away They Flee

Five Little Gophers Digging Five Holes
They’re Eating My Plants, Those Little Scoundrels!

Five Little Gophers Peek Up And See
One, Two, Three, Four, Five! I caught them!

Here is a video of the gopher fingerplay in rice:

Note: An Introduction will Make it Personal

Before starting a new fingerplay, you might introduce the story idea with a personal anecdote. For example, for the gopher fingerplay, I might tell the children that I have gopher holes everywhere in my yard. But I have never once seen a gopher because they are such expert hiders. Or I might relate how my sister had tried to grow plants at her house but the gophers would eat every single one of them up. In fact, if you sat on her porch, you could sometimes watch the plants being sucked down into the ground, disappearing one by one before your eyes.

If you don’t have a personal story, consider giving a short introduction about gophers, such as describing their appearance, their habits, or how farmers have a tough time growing plants when gophers are around.

And then again, you may choose not to give an introduction if you feel it would break up the flow of activities.

Fingerplay 2: Ocean Waves

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The waves of the ocean lap on the shore.
Now receding, now crashing, with a great big roar.
One wave, two waves, three waves, four.
The waves of the ocean lap on the shore.

 

Here is a video of the ocean waves fingerplay in rice:

(coming soon)

Fingerplay 3: Dolphins

BOTTLENOSED DOLPHIN
Mommy dolphins cruising the deep blue ocean.
Flipping, splashing, what commotion!
Baby dolphins ride on the crests of waves,
Then circle back to their enclave.

 

 

This particular fingerplay rhyme I chose to do as a song. You can, of course, just say it if you feel more comfortable.

Here is a video of the dolphin fingerplay in rice:

(coming soon)

See an introduction to rice as a sensory experience for children:

An Introduction to Rice Play: A Soothing Sensory Experience

Several years ago, when I first put out several pounds of uncooked rice onto a black cloth for my niece ...
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