The Magic of Fingerplays

 

One of the principles of Waldorf education is to teach efficiently. Effective teaching is not about putting in hours and hours of drill or repetitive bookwork. It’s about finding ways to engage the whole person in memorable, active lessons. It’s about just the right amount of consistent practice. And it’s about choosing activities that build capacities in multiple ways.

Fingerplays are one of those magical activities!

A few minutes of fingerplay practice sprinkled throughout your day builds many different capacities for children from around ages 4 to 9.

  • Strength and coordination in the small muscles of the hands and fingers (fine motor skills)
  • Language capacity through verse, rhyme, repetition, speech, and memory
  • Internal sense of rhythm, musicality, and number through coordinating speech with movement.
  • Number sense (counting and one-to-one correspondance).
  • Fingerplays are engaging, active, and fun!

What an effective and enjoyable way to teach!

So how can you include fingerplays in your day?

  • Add a fingerplay to your daily rhythm (for example, when you sit down for snack)
  • Add fingerplays to your circle time
  • Warm up the hands for handwork, modeling, recorder, or writing with a couple fingerplays
  • Use fingerplays when your child needs help to gather his attention and focus
  • Anytime, just for fun!

The easiest way to learn a fingerplay is to watch someone do it. I’ve recorded a few fingerplays for each season on the blog so you can watch and learn, and then teach your children.

Winter Fingerplays Spring/Summer Fingerplays Autumn Fingerplays Any Season Fingerplays

Even better, the Lavender’s Blue Kindergarten curriculum now includes a large fingerplay video library!

Lavender’s Blue Kindergarten (with fingerplay video library)

I hope you enjoy the magic of fingerplays with your children!