Friday, March 15, 2013

Fingerplay Fun Friday!

Trains have such an enchanting and rhythmic sound.  Today's rhyme capitalizes on the bouncy cadence of locomotives: Clickety Clack

Clickety Clack

Clickety clack, a-long, a-long  (move arms like train wheels)
A train is coming, a-chonk, a-chonk
Clickety clack a mile away  (peer with hands over eyes)
It hasn't a second of time to stay  (tap wrist)

It sing a noisy rackety song  (hold hands over ears)
A rickety-rockety-rackety song
"Get off the track, it isn't where you belong!"  (hitch thumb to side)

Over the bridge and across the lake  (ride hand up and down an imaginary track)
A mile a minute it has to make
A clickety snake with clackety eyes  (wiggle arm like snake then hold hands like binoculars)
It wriggles and jiggles along the ties  (wiggle whole body)

It sings a noisy rackety song  (hold hands over ears)
A rickety-rockety-rackety song
"Good-night little baby, in bed is where you belong ... sshhhhh!"  (pretend to sleep)

I have presented Clickety Clack as an action rhyme for older toddlers and preschool-age kiddos, calling the whole body into the game.  This fun interplay between words and body movements provides great gross motor skill practice.  When children begin to learn how to write, they need to have good hand and eye coordination as well as upper-body muscle development.  Clickety Clack is a wonderful example of how action rhymes can help prepare kids for later success in writing!  Be patient, it may take a few tries before kids begin to master the movements.

For caregivers with younger children, this rhyme can work just as well as a lullaby.  Forget the big body movements and simply pat out the rhythm on your lap.  The sounds in the words compliment the soothing and repetitive sounds of a train so perfectly!  Slow down your pace, add an occasional "hush" and you're good-to-go!  In her must-read book Reading Magic, Mem Fox says that "Songs and rhymes provide comforting rhythms in children's early lives ... They are the natural extension to the heartbeat of the mother and the rhythmic rocking of a child in loving arms or in a cradle."  Yep.  That about sums it up.

For alternate versions of this rhyme and some interesting history, visit here and here.

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