Visit our Early Childhood classrooms and you will often find teachers and students joyfully singing and rhyming with fingerplay games. Fingerplays are a staple of circle times in the Early Childhood program at the Waldorf School of Princeton, and are treasured for the developmentally-appropriate and integrated learning opportunities that they provide.
Our students enjoy the fingerplays as a fun, social way of participating in class and interacting with their teachers and peers while developing their fine motor skills, exercising the hand and finger muscles for dexterity and strength. Simultaneously, these students are building critical literacy skills that are precursors to reading and writing - developing fluency and oral language, vocabulary, and phonological awareness, as well as practicing order and memory recall. Some fingerplays tie into the experience of the season and its themes, adding a layer of early science learning, and counting, ordering, and patterns present in these fingerplays build early math skills. The children delight in mastering the words and motions of these fingerplay games and will proudly perform them again and again.
With child development at the heart of our Waldorf Early Childhood curriculum, these playful but purposeful learning activities lay healthy and strong foundations for later academic skills.
For more information on how fingerplays provide multi-modal learning opportunities, please visit:
To learn more about how our Early Childhood students are learning in real life through fingerplays and other development-based, experiential learning opportunities, schedule a tour of our Early Childhood here.
Photo Credit: Photography by Cari Ellen.