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FINGER PLAYS

FOR NURSERY AND KINDERGARTEN
by
EMILIE POULSSON 
Music By
CORNELIA C. ROESKE
BOSTON:
LOTHROP, LEE and SHEPARD Co.

Copyright, 1893
By
D. Lothrop Company.

Copyright, 1921, by Emile Poulsson

One Hundred and Thirty Thousand Printed

Printed by Berwick & Smith, Norwood Press, Norwood, Mass., USA


DEDICATED

TO
LITTLE CHILDREN
AT HOME AND IN KINDERGARTEN
BY THEIR FRIEND,
                                EMILIE POULSSON


CONTENTS
        Preface
      I. The Little Men                          9
     II. The Lambs                             12
    III. The Hen and Chickens          17
    IV. The Little Plant                       21
    V. The Pig                                    25
   VI. A Little Boy's Walk                 29
  VII. The Catepillar                         33
 VIII. All for Baby                              37
   IX. The Mice                                 41
    X. The Squirrel                            45
    XI. The Sparrows                        49
   XII. The Counting Lesson            53
  XIII. Mrs. Pussy's Dinner               57
  XIV. How The Corn Grew             61
   XV. The Mill                                  65
  XVI. Making Bread                       69
 XVII. Making Butter                        73
XVIII. Santa Claus                           77

PREFACE.

"WHAT the child imitates," says Froebel, "he begins to understand. Let him represent the flying of birds and he enters partially into the life of birds. Let him imitate the rapid motion of fishes in the water and his sympathy with fishes is quickened. Let him reproduce the activities of farmer, miller and baker, and his eyes open to the meaning of their work. In one word let him reflect in his play the varied aspects of life and his thought will begin to grapple with their significance."

In all times and among all nations, finger-plays have been a delight of childhood' Countless babies have laughed and crowed over "Pat-a-cake" and other performances of the soft little hands; while children of whatever age never fail to find amusement in playing

"Here is the church,
And here's the steeple,
Open the doors,
And here are the people!"

and others as well known.

Yet it is not solely upon the pleasure derived from them, that finger-plays depend for their raison d'etre. By their judicious and early use, the development of strength and flexibility in the tiny lax fingers may be' assisted, and dormant thought may re­ceive its first awakening call through the motions which interpret as well as illustrate the phase of life or activity presented by the words.

The eighteen finger-plays contained in this book have already, through publication in BABYLAND, been introduced to their especial public, and have been much used in homes, though perhaps more in kindergartens. It will readily be seen that while some of the plays are for the babies in the nursery, others are more suitable for older children.

A baby-friend, ten months old, plays "All for Baby" throughout, pounding and clapping gleefully with all his might – while children seven or eight years of age play and sing "The Caterpillar," "How the Corn Grew" and others with very evident enjoyment.

With a little study of the charming and expressive pictures with which the artist, Mr. L. J. Bridgman, has so sympathetically illustrated the rhymes, mothers and kindergartners have easily understood what motions were intended. To elucidate still farther, however, the playing of "The Merry Little Men" may be thus described:

During the singing of the first verse, the children look about in every direction for the "little men," but keep the hands hidden. At the beginning of the second verse, raise both hands to full view with fingers outspread and quiet. At the words, "The first to come," etc., let the thumbs be shown alone, then the others as named in turn, till all are again outspread as at the beginning of the second verse. In the last verse the arms are moved from side to side, hands being raised and fingers fluttering nimbly all the time. When displaying the "busy little men," raise the hands as high as possible.

The music, composed by Miss Cornelia C. Roeske, will be found melodious and attractive and especially suited to the voices and abilities of the very young children for whom it is chiefly intended.

The harmonic arrangement is also purposely simple in consideration of the many mothers and kindergartners who cannot devote time to preparatory practice.

EMILIE POULSSON.
Boston, 1889.

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