'Wiggles' for little fingers and little toes
For many generations, little fingers and toes have played the role of pigs, cows, people and train carriages. Grown ups and little people have shared in the delight of the intimate touch and affection that results from hands connecting and delight at the wonder of the characters and stories. But how many 'wiggles' do YOU know apart from 'This little piggy went to market'??
Here are my five favourite 'wiggles' to get you started:
1. Engine on the track
Here is the engine on the track
Here is the coal car just in back
Here is the box car to carry the freight
Here is the mail car - don't be late!
Right back here at the end of the train
Rides the caboose through sun and rain (finish by taking the little hand for a train ride - chchchch too-ooot!)
2. The dog says, "Bow wow"
The dog says, "Bow wow"
The cow says, "Moo moo"
The lamb says, "Baa baa"
The duck says, "Quack quack"
And the kitty cat says, "Mee-OW" (gently squeeze the tip of the little finger as you say "OW")
3. This little wind
This little wind blows silver rain
This little wind drifts snow
This little wind sings a whistled tune
This little wind moans low
And this little wind rocks baby birds
Tenderly to and fro (finish by making a little nest with both hands and rocking it gently)
4. This is the mother
This is the mother
This is the father
This is the brother tall
This is the sister
This is the baby
Oh, how we love them all (hug and rock back and forth)
5. Row, row, a-fishing we'll go
Row, row, a-fishing we'll go (holding hands push and pull back and forth like rowing a boat)
How many fishes have you, Joe?
"One for my father (wiggle each finger, starting with the thumb)
One for my mother
One for my sister
One for my brother"
And one for the happy fisher boy
Who eats his fish with yummy joy (kiss, kiss, kiss on the tummy)
When sharing these rhymes, wiggle your child's fingers or toes with the beat of the rhyme. In most cases you'll start with the thumb or big toe and, with each character, work your way to the little finger or toe.
Very young babies often keep their hands tightly clenched, so wiggle their toes instead! Toddlers will enjoy having their fingers wiggled - try to wiggle each finger with the beat of the rhyme. As they become familiar with the rhymes, preschoolers can wiggle their own fingers or toes and particularly love wiggling YOUR fingers while you recite the rhyme.
And if your little bluebird is enchanted by the little characters in these wiggles, you can find the largest known collection of these delightful rhymes in the Book of Wiggles and Tickles, compiled by Dr John Feierabend.
What's YOUR favourite 'wiggle'???