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Month: December 2021

5 Winter Preschool Songs and Fingerplays


Winter songs for young children include visualizations of snowflakes whirling, cold winter winds, Arctic animals like polar bears and penguins, or building a chubby little snowman. Kids love singing winter songs about icy toes, jingle bells, jack frost, and Rudolph’s little red nose. I am always on the watch for new, fun and easy songs to sing, dance and play with toddlers and preschoolers. Today I want to share with you 5 NEW winter songs that any parent or pre k teacher can teach young children, because each song is set to a tune that is already familiar. But first, let’s talk a little bit about why the cold days of winter deserve front and center attention.

Winter music for Preschoolers and Toddlers

The seasons are very easy for children to identify. Springtime bursts forth with green grass, budding trees, and blooming flowers. All of the plants spring to life after the cold days of winter. In summer, the weather is hot. Lighter weight clothing is necessary because the sun shines so hot. Then fall arrives and air whirling leaves blow all around. Animals are busy preparing for a winter long rest time.

Winter is significant. The entire ground is covered in white snow (in many parts of the U.S.). A chilly nose, chattering teeth, the need for a warming hat and coat are obvious. So let’s take the season of winter and get the most learning mileage we can. Below you will see many learning concepts you can teach any pre k child using fun and easy wintery songs.

Learning with Winter Songs


There are several winter songs that teach counting. And let’s have fun! We won’t just count with one finger. Let’s get out all our fingers and toes!

I have a blog post and downloadable book featuring Counting Songs for Preschoolers. Many of these songs can be adapted and used in the winter months. For example, you can change the words in the song “Bell Horses” to “Sleigh Horses.” Or, you can change the words “little ducks” in the song, “Five Little Ducks” to another animal like “snowy owls,” or “arctic fox.” Or you can change the lyrics in the song “Ten Little Indians” to lyrics like “Ten Little Penguins, or Ten Frosty Snowmen, or Ten Polar Bears in the snow”.

Winter or Arctic Animals

Kids love animals. Some animals live where it is always cold. Arctic animals have antics that mesmerize young children. A waddling penguin dance, skating polar bear on the tundra, hopping arctic fox hunting for food… these are all movements kids can copy as they sing a winter song.

Some animals take a long winter rest and hibernate for months. Kids love to discover how animals live, eat, and sleep. I especially love the story about The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep. Kids can often relate to what it is like to have a hard time falling asleep. And you can discuss helpful ways that make it easier to fall asleep faster at naptime or bedtime.

Descriptive Words

little snowman

“Little Snowmen I Can See” is a sweet winter song based on the tune “Where is Thumbkin”. I love singing interactive songs with young children where they can help think of other descriptive words we can sing in place of the word “little”.

Four year olds can usually hear that the word little has two syllables, so we try to think of other descriptive words that also have two syllables. Sometimes it is silly to have bigger syllable words and I always use their ideas and have a great laugh.

Some ideas for two-syllable words may include: winter, great big, hungry, sleepy, tired, happy, smiling, yellow, purple, etc. My granddaughter’s favorite color is aquamarine. Now THAT would be an example of a silly descriptive word that I would LOVE to sing!


Winter weather captures the imagination of children. Fascinated by a window’s jack frost kissed patterns, giant icicles hanging from the eaves, or blankets of snow with rambling animal tracks, kids have many beautiful images to wonder about.

Snowflakes dancing on a winter wind, ice landing on a snowy tree, animal tracks roaming across the yard all indicate that the weather is COLD! Pre K kids may wonder why the leaves fell off some trees, but other trees stay green. They will need to learn about how to dress and what kind of clothes they need to stay warm. How much snow is on the ground? Can we measure it? There are so many things preschool teachers and parents can teach through studying the weather and encouraging a child’s sense of wonder.


I created the interactive finger play, “Tracks in the Snow,” just so kids could participate in the wonder of winter. This fingerplay gets kids thinking about what kind of animals will walk in the snow. Some animals may hibernate all winter long. Some animals just keep warm in their nest, curled in a round ball and coming out in the daylight to eat.

I also add counting to this finger play. Each verse gives you an opportunity to add a different animal and each time you an animal you can one more count. Can you count to five? ten? fifteen?

Calendar and Seasons

The calendar is linked to the seasons and the weather. So teaching the months of winter and keeping track of the weather each day is a fun activity for kids. You can put little snowflakes on the days that snow fell and count how many days it snowed in winter (or in one month). Likewise you can keep track of cloudy or sunny days.

“Little Snowflakes Falling Down” is an easy song to learn because it is sung to the tune “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. Add this cute song to your winter theme. You can have snowflakes falling and land on other parts of the body like the knee, elbow, or shoulder. Or the snow can land on your clothes like a hat, mitten, scarf, coat or boots. Winter songs like this give you a lot of creativity to change them up. Perhaps your snowflakes dance or maybe your snowflakes smiled? Below I will give you a few more ideas on how you can create or change winter songs for preschoolers to fit your exact needs.

New Winter Songs to Teach Kids

As an Early Childhood Educator, I get tired of singing the same old snowman songs, winter hokey-pokey, snowkey pokey, and super simple songs. I totally understand when preschool teachers get tired of teaching about winter because they are always reaching for the same materials year after year. That is why I created new pre k songs. New songs you can use at circle time, new songs that save time because they are easy to learn and teach and weave into your winter theme. Kids songs that parents and kids love to sing over and over at home because they are fun and interactive.


You can get these 5 NEW Winter Songs when you join the Music Time Kid Community. I offer new free content for community members that you can download, print and use right away!

Winter Songs for Preschoolers

In this collection of winter songs, you will find familiar melodies that you will already know with some new lyrics and actions. I will also give you ideas on how you can take these winter songs and get kids involved in the music creation. Whether you use these winter songs at circle time in your pre k program or just having fun with your toddler in your living room, kids love to make music and they love to be a part of the creation process.

So, I am offering you this 5 song collection of fun and interactive winter songs that you can download, print and use right now. Cut out some snowflakes, bake some cut-out cookies, or dance a frosty freeze dance with jingle bells to add to the fun. Printing this music will save time as you plan for winter-time fun this year!

Tracks in the Snow

Little Snowflakes Falling Down

Five Frosty Snowmen

Little Snowmen I Can See

Ten Little Arctic Animals Song

Favorite Winter Finger Play

One of my favorite winter fingerplays is called “I Built a Little Snowman”.

If you can point me to the author, please point me in their direction, so I can give them the proper attribution. This is how I teach this finger play.

I Built a Little Snowman

I built a little snowman, he had a carrot nose, along came a bunny, and what do you suppose? That hungry little bunny, looking for some lunch, ate the snowman’s carrot nose, nibble, nibble crunch!

Kids have so much fun imagining swiping the poor little nose off that little snow person. It is one of the most requested winter fingerplays in my music classes.

Best Winter Songs for Kids on Youtube

Here are links to some of the songs I know my young families love. Super Simple Songs is one of my favorite channels and they even offer “how to teach” videos for many of their songs on their channel.

Super Simple Songs

The Kiboomers

How to Turn Any Song into a Winter Song

Often you will find new and original lyrics set to old familiar tunes. This is intentional. It is easy for parents and preschool teachers to learn new songs when they already know the melody. It is easy for KIDS to learn a new song when they already know the melody. This is also WHY I am a big fan of teaching young children songs they already know when they first begin to play the piano. It’s easy to teach something new from a foundation of something already known. (Learn more about that here).

So…See if you can take a familiar tune and make up some fun new lyrics. (See more examples of this in 15 Singable Autumn Songs for Preschoolers PDF)

Two examples are I’m a Little Snowman sung to the tune I’m a Little Teapot, or singing the Snowkey Pokey to the hokey pokey tune. Find ways to incorporate things kids are learning like colors, counting, weather, animals, feelings, etc into your song. This list is a great place to get started.

Tunes you may already know

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Row Row Row Your Boat

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Where is Thumbkin

Ten Little Indians

If You’re Happy and You Know It

The Wheels on the Bus

Hot Cross Buns

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

London Bridges


You can get these 5 NEW Winter Songs when you join the Music Time Kid Community. I offer new free content for community members that you can download, print and use right away!

Let me know if you have created a new winter song! I’d love to hear it!

Develop Fine Motor Skills for Piano Lessons

Many parents want their young children to have a head start with piano lessons. This article will show some ways parents can encourage fine motor skills for toddlers and preschoolers. I will also show you how I like to adapt early childhood education toys to develop more advanced skills that will, at the same time teaching basic piano skills.

toddler piano lessons

Fine Motor Skill Development

Why is fine motor skill development important? Toddlers and preschoolers need to develop fine motor skills to be successful in school. Five fine motor skills kids need for Kindergarten include:

  • Grip
  • Name writing
  • Letter Formation
  • Number formation
  • Use of scissors
fine motor skills

Children build fine motor skills through a variety of childhood activities. Encouraging a child’s fine motor skills not only prepares kids for school, but also for playing the piano! You can help your child improve hand muscle strength and coordination of the fingers. is extremely important for beginners.

What Do Fine Motor Skills Involve?

Fine motor skills involve developing the small muscles that school aged children need for success in school. These are more complex skills that young kids need work to develop. Most kids need lots of repetition with fine motor skills. Some examples, everyday tasks, or fun activities that encourage fine motor development include:

  • dialing a phone
  • using a remote
  • using a computer mouse
  • turning doorknobs
  • buttoning and unbuttoning clothes
  • tying shoelaces
  • brushing teeth and flossing
  • using a toilet
  • picking up small objects, for example cheerioes
  • eating with utensils
  • opening and closing containers
  • turning the pages of a book
  • playing musical instruments
  • coloring
  • drawing
  • cutting construction paper
  • stacking blocks
  • finger paint
  • play dough
  • playing board games

Fine Motor Development for Piano Lessons

Most children will need to work on hand muscle strength, hand eye coordination, wrist stability, pincer grasp, and independence of thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger and pinky fingers. Fine motor skills develop only when kids have the opportunity to practice fine motor skills. Developing fine motor skills, as shown above, need not be isolated exercises. However, children develop these skills and refine them with parental intentionality.

When parents approach me to teach their four or five year old, an assessment of their motor skills is one of the first things I look at to see if a child is ready for piano lessons. Often I can encourage parents to build fine motor skills at home for a while if the child’s development isn’t where it needs to be. Of course at this age, developmental milestones are individual and we need to allow kids to develop at their own pace. But the development of fine motor skills can be nurtured with daily activities and games.

Games for Fine Motor Skills for Toddlers and Preschoolers

There are a lot of early childhood education games that teach math skills like sorting, patterns, numbers, counting, etc. Often these games can be augmented to support learning basic musical concepts needed in piano lessons because there is math in music.

Sneaky Mouse Card Game

sneaky mouse fine motor skill game

Sneaky Mouse Game is an augmented game based on the Last Mouse Lost Game. The Sneaky Mouse cards help develop finger independence and also teach the finger numbers for piano lessons. You can check out this blog post and watch this Youtube video for more information about this game. It’s even fun for beginners age 5-8 years old.

Muffin Music Game

Muffin Music Game is an augmented game based on the Learning Resources’ Mini Muffin Match Game. Squeezie tweezers will strengthen the hand muscles. Colors, numbers, and sorting are all educational features of the game. And this game easily turns itself into a preschool piano game as Music Muffin Game highlights note values: quarter note = 1, half note = 2, dotted half note = 3, and whole note = 4 counts.

See how to play Muffin Music Match!

What if my child isn’t ready?

Every child progresses at their own pace. Activities that include a lot of movement (gross motor skills) are also age appropriate and often more fun if your child struggles with the more complex fine motor skills. I always recommend group music classes or online classes (Like my online class with Beethoven, the adorable, pancake lovin’ sheep dog!) to help teach basic musical concepts that will also help prepare your child for piano lessons!

If this sounds like something you and your child are interested in, then check out my free music class here!

online toddlers music class

Get your FREE Music Mini-Class

Your toddler or preschooler will love this Music Mini-Class.  Join me and Beethoven, an adorable pancake loving sheepdog as we sing, dance and play together!

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