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Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Activities & Games

The highly imaginative Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Song lends itself to many different piano activities and games. Because kids learn this nursery rhyme as toddlers, they know it already and are eager to play a song on the piano that they know! Interested in learning this as your first piano song? I will show you some of the ways I teach this nursery rhyme to young beginners!

So many preschool and beginner piano music books progress in a manner in which there is very little opportunity for repetition. I often hear teachers of preschool piano students wonder what they should do when a child doesn’t grasp a concept in the lesson because they worry about moving forward in the book. This is where easy piano activities and games are important. Music concepts can be taught over and over again in different ways until the students understand.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Song

Itsy Bitsy Spider (actually I learned this as Eency Weency Spider and yes! there is another version Incy Wincy Spider) is one of the first nursery rhymes young children learn. They love the finger play! Actions include climbing higher, then water coming down the water spout, making a big sun, and then climbing up and up and up again! How fun!

Itsy Bitsy Spider (free download)

The itsy bitsy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the itsy bitsy spider went up the spout again

First Piano Lessons

Beginning piano students want to play music they already know. Sometimes those songs are a little more difficult than the first songs they would sight read in a piano music book. But, with a little practice, most kids easily learn songs they already know because their ear will guide them and they have a strong desire to learn.

Beginners benefit from playing easy piano songs of familiar music because they can be successful without even reading a note. Plus piano lessons can focus on foundational piano skills before note reading is introduced.

Toddlers and preschoolers are eager to explore the piano and young children must have plenty of movement activities and piano games ( I have a lot of piano games for beginners in my SHOP) to reinforce musical concepts. They need lots of repetition!

Printable Sheet Music with Alphabet Letters

sample of itsy bitsy spider piano song with alphabet letters

I prefer young students play music with music alphabet letters at their first lessons. This allows me to teach the keyboard geography and basic rhythms before getting to the notes on the music staff. Because Itsy Bitsy Spider is a familiar nursery rhyme, I do not provide notes for rhythm in this piano music. I will let them play the rhythm by ear.

Here is one example of sheet music that has no notes. This easy piano music only has music alphabet letters and the student will play and sing along (and the rhythm is usually spot on!).

Printable Sheet Music with Notes that have Alphabet Letters

Another easy piano sheet music I like to use will have notes (so yes, students can see the rhythm) but you can write the music alphabet letters next to the note. This version also has finger numbers for kids who can play with all five fingers. If they are not ready for that, just cross them out.

What sheet music I give a student really depends on the age of the child and if they have played any other songs already. So it depends if I give them the printable easy piano sheet music with notes or only letters.

Printable Sheet Music with Notes on the Staff

The piano sheet music above is what I will use to provide the staff with regular notes. I will give this music to a student who is currently learning to read music notes on the staff. However, it is harder than a song like Hot Cross Buns. The fingering is included but can be changed. If a student knows where to place their hands on the piano and which finger is placed on each note, they will be very successful.

Some teachers criticize the use of finger numbers, but I am a firm believer that kids need this kind of instruction for a couple reasons.

First, learning the finger numbers can be tricky. We read from left to right, but the fingering for the left hand goes right to left. The hands are a mirror, so the fingering in the left hand is often difficult for beginners.

Secondly, kids need some easy wins. If everything is about moving forward and always making progress, kids can get discouraged. They need to have lots of successes and feel good about learning piano, so writing fingering in songs is not a crutch. It is educational and motivational.

Incy Wincy Spider

The incy wincy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the incy wincy spider went up the spout again

Piano Games for Itsy Bitsy Spider

I am always on the look out for fun games for kids. Games that can teach keyboard geography, rhythms, note values, music alphabet, and the like. Math is strongly linked to music, so I also teach patterns, counting, adding, etc.

I believe kids learn best through games. Sometimes they don’t even realize they are learning! So when you combine easy sheet music with fun games it is easy to teach many many concepts at a time!

The games I created in the Itsy Bitsy Spider Piano Games & Activities Book include:

Music Alphabet Path Game – This game provides a forward moving alphabet, but the path moves right to left. This is intentional to provide opportunities for kids to track going the opposite direction of reading.

Tic-Tac-Toe Game – This game provides an opportunity for kids to build a relationship with the teacher.
Pattern Cards – You can also use the cards to make patterns and sequences which is an important math skill for Kindergarten.

Music Alphabet Memory Game – Alphabet letters can be matched to the corresponding piano keyboard cards for a memory style game. Alphabet cards can also be used separately to teach the music alphabet forwards and backwards as well as teaching skipping.

Music Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

Movement Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

  1. Move fingers, hands and arms to the nursery rhyme.
  2. Puppets or stuffed animals can be bounced to the nursery rhyme.
  3. Students can practice moving with their whole body!
  4. Tapping! Kids can tap on their lap or bounce a stuffed animal to the steady beat as the song is sung. (See this blog post or this video for more ideas on teaching a steady beat)
  5. Most instruments like shaker eggs, hand bells, tambourines, drums can be played to the beat or rhythm while singing the nursery rhyme. (See this blog post or video about short and long rhythm)

Piano Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

1. Learn to play the song Itsy Bitsy Spider
2. Make up your own Spider Composition
3. Tap your finger along with the nursery rhyme
4. Play with rhythms – short and long sounds of Itsy Bitsy Spider

Preschool Learning Activities for Itsy Bitsy Spider

Learning activities for beginners may include worksheets (shown below) that help develop fine motor skills, math skills, music alphabet skills, coloring, and more.

Here is another fun finger builder activity to help develop curvy fingers. I am not a huge fan of too many worksheets at a time because I believe children learn best by moving and playing games.

Eency Weency Spider (free download)

The incy wincy spider went up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the incy wincy spider went up the spout again

Plastic Spider Rings

Plastic rings are fun for kids and I like to use them to play finger number games. How fun is it to play music with pointer finger wearing a little spider ring!

Some links may contain affiliate links which means if you click through the link and make a purchase I may make a small commision at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

Kids love these colorful rings! Use them to identify finger numbers or make patterns!

Little Miss Muffet Lyrics

Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away

Another spider nursery rhyme! Use this nursery rhyme to have kids create another original song they compose on their own!

Conclusion

I hope you have found some of the ideas I have on this blog post useful. I started this blog to help parents and teachers introduce music to young children. I’m convinced parents can teach their own young beginner many musical skills with a little help. And I know many teachers value the ideas of other teachers who have years of experience.

Leave me a comment below what you found helpful or useful in this post. And share any ideas you may have for a future post!

The resources I am creating are great for a beginner. You can purchase this Itsy Bitsy Spider Game & Activity Book on my website here.

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