Nursery Rhymes with Actions

To accompany Teach Kids About Poetry.

Poems with actions for the face, fingers, and toes

For the face:
Ring the bell, (tug at a lock of hair)
Knock at the door, (tap forehead)
Peep in, (peer into eyes)
Lift the latch, (tilt nose)
Walk in, (open mouth)
Go way down the cellar and eat apples. (tickle throat)

Here sits the Lord Mayor (touch the forehead)
Here sits his two men (point to the eyes)
Here sits the rooster (touch the right cheek)
Here sits the hen (touch the left cheek)
Here sit the little chickens (touch the tip of the nose)
Here they run in (open the mouth)
Chin-chopper, chin-chopper, chin-chopper, chin! (tickle the chin)

For the fingers:
This little pig had a rub-a-dub,
This little pig had a scrub-a-scrub,
This little pig-a-wig ran upstairs,
This little pig-a-wig called out, Bears!
Down came the jar with a loud Slam! Slam!
And this little pig had all the jam.

This little pig went to market,
This little pig stayed at home,
This little pig had roast beef,
This little pig had none,
And this little pig cried, Wee-wee-wee
I can’t find my way home.

I have ten little fingers,
And they all belong to me.
I can make them do things,
Just watch and see.
I can shut them up tight,
I can open them wide.
I can put them together,
I can make them all hide.
I can make them jump high,
I can make them jump low.
I can fold them together
And put them just so.

Tickling Games

For these games, a child will hold out her hand, and the partner will trace circles in the palm, then “run” their fingers up the child’s arm and tickle her at the end.

Round about there
Sat a little hare,
The bow-wows came and chased him
Right up there!

Round about, round about, 
Catch a wee mouse;
Up a bit, up a bit,
In a wee house.

Round and round the garden,
Like a teddy bear;
One step, two step,
Tickle you under there!

For this one, the poem ends with a knee tickle:

If you are a gentleman,
As I suppose you be,
You’ll neither laugh nor smile
At the tickling of your knee.

Finger games

Here is the church, (interlace fingers, palms down, with fingers tucked in and thumbs together at the front)
and here is the steeple; (pop up the two index fingers to form a steeple)
Open the door (pull thumbs away from each other)
and here are the people. (flip over hands, still interlaced, to reveal all the wiggling fingers inside)
Here is the parson going upstairs, (unclasp hands and “walk” two fingers up the fingers of the other hand)
And here he is saying his prayers. (claps hands together again)

Here are the lady’s knives and forks, (interlace fingers, tucked in against palms, and face hands palm-up to wiggle the knives)
Here is the lady’s table, (flip hands over, still interlaced, to form a flat surface)
Here is the lady’s looking-glass, (flip little fingers straight up)
And here is the baby’s cradle. (flip index fingers straight up, too, and rock your hands)

Ring dances

A ring, a ring o’roses,
A pocket full of posies,
Ash-a! Ash-a!
We all stand still.

The king has sent his daughter
To fetch a pail of water,
Ash-a! Ash-a!
All bow down.

The bird upon the steeple
Sits high above the people,
Ash-a! Ash-a!
All kneel down.

The wedding bells are ringing,
The boys and girls are singing,
Ash-a! Ash-a!
All fall down.