Children learn through play. As an occupational therapist who works with children and youth, I use games and toys almost every day to help develop important cognitive, visual perceptual, motor, sensory, social, play and leisure skills. While many different types of activities can be used in therapy, this blog focuses on off-the-shelf games and toys that are accessible to most. Whether you are a therapist, parent, teacher, or a game lover like me, I hope you discover something useful while you are here. Learn a different way to play a game you already own or discover a new game for your next family game night. Either way, just go play. It's good for you!

The OT Magazine named The Playful Otter one of the Top 5 Pediatric OT Blogs.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Eentsy Weentsy Spider Fingerplays and Action Rhymes

Work on motor planning, spatial relations, hand and finger dexterity, body awareness, proprioception, sequencing, motor memory, coordinated use of both sides of the body, play exploration and participation
In the book: 38 fingerplays, 12 musical arrangements
An engaging book that will motivate kids to move and act out simple stories in the form of rhymes. The subjects appeal to the things that young kids love and are familiar with - animals, flowers, balloons, families. The simple rhymes will help make the words and movements easier to remember. Say them or sing them. There are 12 musical arrangements in the back of the book, all simple and treble clef only. Here is an example of My Hat  (left) and The Eentsy, Weentsy Spider (right).  
Fingerplays may help develop spatial skills and body awareness. Movements are symmetrical as well as asymmetrical. Practice them until they can be performed without the book. Kids will be having so much fun, they won't know they're learning. Some of the titles include:
  • Ten Little Firefighters
  • Balloons
  • Two Fat Sausages
  • Six Little Ducks
  • Open, Shut Them
  • Rain
  • Apples
  • The Quiet Mouse 
Try this:
  • After learning the rhyme, practice each movement randomly for longer-term motor memory. For instance, in the MY HAT example above, there are four movements. Say the rhyme out of order and practice the movement that goes with each line. Try: Three corners has my hat, It would not be my hat, My hat it has three corners, If it did not have three corners.
  • Perform the fingerplays with the eyes closed after they are memorized to eliminate the need for visual monitoring.
  • Learn one movement at a time. Read the rhyme and perform the movement associated with the last part. Read the rhyme and perform the movements associated with the last two parts. Read the rhyme and perform the movements associated with the last three parts. Repeat until done.
If you would like a look inside the actual book, with many more page examples, click on this link to go to Amazon. The Eentsy Weentsy Spider
If you are interested in purchasing this item or just want more information, click on the image below.

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