Find resources / Activities / Finger plays Activity

Why do it?

Finger plays can:

  • help toddlers build word skills
  • help them learn to imitate
  • help them match words with actions
  • be a time of fun and sharing.

How to do it

Little, bigger, biggest

A little ball (make a ball with finger and thumb).

A bigger ball (make a ball with two hands).

And a great big ball (make a ball with arms).

Now help me count them — 1, 2, 3!

(Repeat gestures for each size.)


Row your boat

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.

(Sit on the floor with your child, holding their

hands and rocking backward and forward.)

Using more te reo Māori

Kōrero Talk
Whakahuahua(tia) Copy, mimic
Mahi-a-ringa Hand actions
Whāngai kupu Prompting
Me pēnei Do it like this
Homai tō ringa Give me your hand
He pōro iti A little ball
He pōro nui A big ball
He pōro nunui A great big ball
Tahi, rua, toru One, two, three
Ō ringaringa ki runga Arms up
Hope! Hands on your hips
He pai ki a koe tēnei waiata? Do you like this song?
Ka rawe Awesome
E noho kōnei ki te whāriki Sit here on the mat
E peke Jump up