Toddler Music Activities: Hand Signals

Using Hand Signals and Actions to Teach Music to Toddlers

I am so excited about this new series of posts for toddlers! It is also about music and movement activities for toddlers and of course it can be for preschoolers too. I am very passionate about the power of music. In fact, I have even written a long research paper on that very topic. Music has proven to affect lives time and time again. Music is perfect for teaching rhythm, rhyming, memorizing simple things (like the alphabet), a steady beat, intonation, emotion, and so much more. Before I go way overboard on this topic, just trust me when I say that I am passionate about music.

Using Hand Signals and Actions to Teach Music to Toddlers

I love doing music and movement lessons with my kids and they always love it too! Throughout this series, I will write about several ways that you can teach/interact with music with your toddler or preschooler. The first post in this series will be about hand signals.

 Using Hand Signals to Teach Music to Toddlers

It doesn’t make sense to use hand signals with every single song that you could sing with your child, but it does make sense with lots of them. Here is a list of songs that you could easily make up hand signals for. Many of these songs already have hand signals that you probably already know.

  • 5 Little Speckled Frogs
  • 5 Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree
  • 5 Little Ducks Went out to Play
  • London Bridge
  • The Bear Went Over the Mountain
  • Wheels on the Bus
  • Pat-a-Cake
  • One, Two Buckle My Shoe
  • Itsy Bitsy Spider
  • I’m a Little Teapot
  • This Little Piggy
  • Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee
  • My Hat it Has Three Corners

Don’t forget that you can be creative. There may be a song that you are singing and you realize that you can think of some fun hand signals. Teach them to your toddler! Teaching hand signals will help your child remember the words and it teaches them musical skills as well as some gross motor.

 Using Actions to Teach Music to Toddlers

I was singing The Bear Went Over the Mountain with my boys, when I realized that we have lots of teddy bears and we could easily find a “mountain” to sing the song with. So, we sang the song several more times, but each took turns helping the bear over the “mountain.” Smiley Man and Little Bear loved this game and have been playing it lots of times since we took pictures. Singing with hand signals is a great way to do music and movement lesson with your toddler.

*Want to see more themed activities like this for toddlers or preschoolers? Check out our store page where our toddler and preschool series are compiled into Activity Packs for only $1.99! The Activity Packs are full of lesson plans, printables, and a curriculum guide.


  1. I am excited to read what you will come up with for your music series. I just recently finished my own music series as it’s a topic that I am passionate about as well.

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