Hand Play Songs
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Hand Play Songs

  • PDF

Children learn foundational speech and language skills through play. So how can we teach children to play? It starts by teaching them how to imitate your play!

One way to do through fun and enjoyable songs that involve hand motions. We refer to these as hand play songs, and they're a wonderful way to improve your child's language development. Hand play songs also help children learn vital imitation skills, how to appropriately share and take turns, and joint attention. All of these are foundational skills for social language development. Additionally, because hand play songs involve hand movements, it can improve your child's gross motor development as well.

Hand play songs simply involve singing to your child and motioning your hands to each tune. Your child can participate in this language-building activity even without knowing the words of the songs.

Start by placing your hands over your child's hands and guiding them through the motions. Overtime, your child will imitate these hand movements to the songs. With enough repetition, they'll begin to imitate some of the words of the song, as well as follow your directions and movement. These hand play songs are best learned when sitting face-to-face with your child, making eye contact and practicing turn taking skills during play.

Hand Play Songs to Imitate and Practice

Try singing these songs with your child:

  • Itsy Bitsy Spider: This crowd-pleaser can help enrich your child's vocabulary with important directional words, such as up, down, out, and the conditional word again.

  • Wheels on the Bus: This song can help expand upon other directional words, including around, up, down, open, shut.

  • Open Shut Them: Additional direction words to practice include open, shut, put them, and in.

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