Five little leaves went out to play (hold up five fingers)
They danced upon a tree one day (wave hand back and forth)
The wind came blowing through the town
And one little leaf came blowing down (wave one finger back and forth in a downward direction)
Repeat this rhyme, subtracting one leaf each time until no little leaves remain.
Five Little Leaves is a fun autumn fingerplay that I have repeated again and again with young children. Fingerplays support a child’s development in so many ways. They encourage listening and speaking, the co-ordination of hand and finger movements that accompany the words, and the use of their imagination. This fingerplay invites children to practice counting as they enjoy the musical quality of spoken words.
You don’t need props to do this fingerplay, but the rhyme can easily be extended into a fun and simple craft activity, if you like. All you need are construction paper, tape, pictures of leaves (many can be found in Google Images, for example at http://www.321coloringpages.com/images/leaf-coloring-pages/leaf-coloring-pages.gif ) paper clips, and crayons or markers or pastels or paints….
Cut out five strips of construction paper, long enough to wrap around your fingers, like
rings. Tape the ends together. When you have found leaf images you like, encourage your child to colour them, then help with cutting them out. Attach the leaves to the rings using paper clips. Put the leaf rings on your fingers and then you are ready to recite this simple rhyme! With each repetition you can easily remove one leaf at a time by sliding off the paper clip. The leaf cut outs can be used to help your child understand number concepts such as counting and subtracting in ways that are both concrete and creative.
You’ll enjoy sharing the Five Little Leaves Rhyme again and again with young children.