The Little Girl (or Boy), Ready for Bed is my all-time favorite fingerplay. Three-year-olds can master the movements, but I often will introduce it to children as young as eighteen months, as their language begins to develop beyond single words. I love to see how this simple little hands-on activity captures children’s attention, involves them and, yes, soothes them as they engage in the narrative. Once children become familiar with this story that their fingers enact, they often improvise on it. They will readily talk about how it relates to the routines of their own lives and engage in discussions with their teachers, parents, and peers.
Fingerplays like this are among the first steps that children take in their journey towards literacy. Before children can “crack the code” of literacy, they need to have a sense of a narrative portrayed symbolically. The way that their hands and spoken words symbolically advance the story represents the way that a story is advanced through the symbols of written words.
Have fun with this marvelous music/play activity and…