Grandma Uses Her Fingers for Little Grandchildren

Lesson1This Grandma learned a finger play song when she was a day camp counselor for four and five year old boys.  Aha!  I should have realized.  I had daughters, and fortunately I have one granddaughter, but I was meant to have many grandsons!

My favorite finger play song is “Open, Shut Them,” and it is the first song I tell my new grandma friends about.  Newborns like and can see red, black and white.  Remember the black and white books for newborns.Click here for a wide selection

So, thinking red and newborn, I always keep my fingernails painted red when I have newborn, baby, toddler and preschooler grandchildren around.  Yes, up to preschooler.  They like “Open, Shut Them,” too.

It is a hand and finger use song just like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider.”

Here is the version I remembered from too many decades to want to admit to:

Open, Shut, Them (hold your palms open facing the grandchild, fold them forward to shut them–red fingernails showing).

Open, Shut, Them (hold your palms open facing the grandchild, fold them forward to shut them–red fingernails showing).

Give a little clap!

Open, Shut, Them (hold your palms open facing the grandchild, fold them forward to shut them–red fingernails showing).

Open, Shut, Them (hold your palms open facing the grandchild, fold them forward to shut them–red fingernails showing).

Put them in your lap (quickly and with expression)

Creep them, creep them, right up to your chin (creep like in the Itsy Bitsy Spider to your chin –red fingernails showing).

Open wide your little mouth (with expression)

But do not put them in!  (Quickly and with expression and open mouth, quickly put your hands behind your back.)

Repeat.

Remember a person is a baby’s favorite plaything and from this favorite plaything they can learn the most.  Where we felt a responsibility to talk and expose our children to language, knowing that vocabulary and experiences brought up their I.Q. and made them more school ready, we feel the joy of talking nonstop to our grandchildren, and exposing them to experiences and language which bring grandparent and grandchild close and cement that special bond.

“Open, Shut Them,” is that kind of children’s finger play song that grows with the grandchild.

You will be asked to repeat “Open, Shut Them” as soon as your grandchild can show you with their smile, soon to be accompanied by kicking.  You will be asked to repeat “Open, Shut Them” as soon as your grandchild can say, “more.”  You will be asked to repeat “Open, Shut Them” as soon as your grandchild can say, “again.”  Even when they can say these words, sometimes they just show you, by greeting you on Face Time with their mouths open and hands behind their back.

So, what is the melody?  This Grandma has a horrible (no, really horrible that my children and now my grandchildren even tell me to stop singing when they are old enough–I just take advantage of the little ones) voice.  So melodies are a challenge to pass alone.  Sure enough, There are versions of “Open, Shut Them,” on Youtube.  Would we expect less?

I have to admit that I viewed too many versions of this song on You Tube, even done in a preschool in Taiwan.  Sometimes the internet has too many choices and they look interesting until you actually open the link.  So here is a British singer who has just the right exaggerated expressions to see how it is done.  Too bad she does not have red fingernails!

Playing with grandchildren brings

 

Joy,

 

Mema

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