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Friday, July 31, 2009

Finger Patterns in a Tree

Rewind: Why do finger patterns?

My four year old is turning five next week. I can't believe it. He is ready to start preschool and while I am still in denial that he will be in kindergarten next year, I have a feeling is going to enjoy it. He will meet new friends and learn new things. He will also be going to school with the confidence that he understands numbers.

Working with my son on finger patterns has provided more conversations about numbers, counting and math than I ever imagined. More importantly, finger patterns have engaged us as a family while we play, work or even get ready for bed.

The video below is over a year old. My son is dressed up in a bear costume, wearing a bike helmet, climbing a tree and firing away his finger patterns. I speak and write a lot about making numbers part of your child's world and as you can see here, the day that I filmed this video, we were definitely in my son's world!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Rhyme Time with Finger Patterns

Using Finger Patterns with Rhymes for Counting

My busy boys love to dance, sing, jump and rhyme.  I started looking for preschool rhymes that we could incorporate with finger patterns.  Below are just a few of our favorite rhymes that can be used with finger patterns to encourage memory, visualization and counting forwards.

Finger Pattern Rhymes for Counting Forwards

Five Fat Peas
This is a great one to use fire away. Start with all fingers in a fist, the thumb holding the other fingers in place. Count from one to five with just one hand then count one to five with both hands at the same time. 

Five fat peas in a pea pod pressed 
(children hold hand in a fist) 
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest. 
(put fingers up one by one starting with pointer finger ending with thumb) 
They grew and grew 
 (raise all five fingers in the air very slowly) 
And did not stop, 
Until one day 
The pod went POP! 
(clap hands together)

My two year old loves this rhyme because you can make all the motions while you make the finger pattern.  When we say, "Two baby turtles crawl to the sea." we make the number two on our fingers and the two "crawls."  
One baby turtle alone and new. 
Finds a friend, and then there are two. 
Two baby turtles crawl down to the sea. 
They find another, and then there are three. 
Three baby turtles crawl along the shore. 
They find another, and then there are four. 
Four baby turtles go for a dive. 
Up swims another, and then there are five.

For more rhymes: