An Action Rhyme

Finger Play

Everybody touch your nose,

Everybody touch your toes,

Everybody touch your hair,

Wave your fingers in the air.

Everybody touch your lips,

Everybody touch your hips,

Everybody touch your knees,

Fold them in your lap now, please.

I came up with this rhyme a few weeks ago in Mission Friends as we gathered for Group Time. A couple of our preschoolers finished up activities, and the rest of us sat on the floor in our Group Time area. We talked as we waited for the others to come, but I could tell things could quickly get out of control. Most of the preschoolers were sitting nicely right now, but a few were starting to roll around on the floor. I had to come up with something quickly. That’s when this verse came about. By the time I got to hair, each preschooler was doing the actions and listening for what came next. I was surprised at the end when our preschoolers actually folded their hands in their laps! The others had joined us by that time, and I was able to go straight into our Group Time plans.

I used the rhyme again the next week in Group Time. Right before I told the story, we did the action rhyme again. This gave them a small amount of movement, and then they were settled down to listen to the mission story. They really enjoy doing something so simple, and this gives them permission to move in constructive ways. Preschoolers don’t even realize it, but movement rhymes and action songs also help to improve their listening skills.

You may know of other movement rhymes or songs. Remember to use these when your group seems a little restless. Similar rhymes and action songs can be found in Sing to the Tune, pages 42–53. Many times the Introduction for Group Time in Mission Friends Leader suggests an action song to start off your Group Time. These are great attention-grabbers, so you might keep an action rhyme or song in the back of your mind to use at any time.

Throughout this church year we offer a leader article each quarter to help you grab your preschoolers’ attention during Group Time. Be sure to read the article for this quarter, How to Grab Preschoolers’ Attention – Introductory Activities, on the website or within the October unit in Mission Friends Leader, Fall 2016, page 27. Look for an article each quarter which will be in Mission Friends Leader and the website. We’ll explore ways to make your Group Time great!

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