Chicken Hands! Emilie Poulsson's Finger Plays

Emilie Poulsson’s Finger PlaysFinger Plays for Nursery and Kindergarten by Emilie Poulsson is a playbook of sorts, with technical writing style guides for finger plays. As wonderfully silly as this image is, the purpose of Finger Plays as explained in the “Preface” is even more wonderful:

“WHAT the child imitates,” says Froebel, “he begins to understand. Let him represent the flying of birds and he enters partially into the life of birds. Let him imitate the rapid motion of fishes in the water and his sympathy with fishes is quickened. Let him reproduce the activities of farmer, miller and baker, and his eyes open to the meaning of their work. In one word let him reflect in his play the varied aspects of life and his’ thought will begin to grapple with their significance.”

Of course, then the “Preface” returns to wonderfully silly again as it proclaims that babies need finger plays to strengthen small, “lax” hands. Play is always good, and reading about play is also wonderful, whether or not it strengthens hands of any size.