Session note Session notes

Session notes for Fingerplay fun Stages: 7 to 12 months


Hands and fingers can represent a range of things for a baby. Some describe them as a baby’s first ‘toy’ — always available for their exploration pleasure. And some babies and young children can soothe themselves by thumb or finger sucking.

Adult hands can represent different things too. They can be a symbol of love associated with positive experiences — security, warmth, care and nurture. On the downside, they can be used in negative ways to hit, slap, squeeze and punch.

They’re also the key tools for communicating in sign language. Fingernail art is popular too, these days, and babies can take a great interest in decorated nails.

Ask the whānau:

  • What do you think your baby associates with your hands?
  • Do you know the song ‘Where is Thumbkin?’ or, in te reo Māori, ‘Kei hea kōnui?’
  • Have you tried singing it with baby?

Try a fingerplay

This fingerplay uses hands and fingers in a playful way that a baby will enjoy sharing with their parents. It provides a rich, multi-sensory experience for baby. And there’s repetition, rhythm and rhyme in the words. The simple actions help baby learn about things disappearing and returning.

  • Shall we do it together? — Don’t worry about how you sing. Baby will think you’re wonderful, just because you’re you.
  • Start with both hands behind your back and sing:

Where is Thumbkin?   (Kei hea kōnui?)

Where is Thumbkin?    (Kei hea kōnui?)

  • Bring first hand to the front with thumb sticking up, followed by the other hand:

Here I am                         (Kei konei)

Here I am                         (Kei konei)

  • Both thumbs facing each other — like little men talking to each other:

How are you today, sir?     (Kei te pēhea koe?)

Very well I thank you         (Kei te pai āhau)

  • Then one at a time hands return to behind your back as you sing:

Run away           (E oma)

Run away.           (E oma)

You can add more verses later: pointer, middleman, ringman and pinky — kōroa, māpere, mānawa and kōiti.

How does this topic relate to the SKIP resources?

Baby Wall Frieze – Waiata mai - Sing to me

Six things children need - Te aroha me te mahana - love and warmth


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