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Where is Thumbkin?

Bite-sized brain snacks for Chicago’s early learners.


Model the words and motions to fingerplays and nursery rhymes like "Where is Thumbkin?" Invite your children to act out the song using their fingers! "Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin? Here I am! Here I am! How are you today, Sir? Very well, I thank you! Run away, run away."

Why It's Important

Singing songs with motions that go along with the different verses helps your child learn how to anticipate what is coming up next. Not only does your child need to remember the words, but also the motions that go along with them.


Trace your child's hand onto a piece of paper. Have your child tell you the names of the fingers that are in the song "Where is Thumbkin" and label them. If your child has a hard time remembering them, sing the song to help spark your child's memory. Color the picture together!

Not Ready Yet

Even if your child is not ready to do the motions with you, sing the song and model them. Your child will join in when they're ready.

Need a Challenge

Make a game out of doing the motions to different nursery rhymes. Without singing the words, start doing the motions to a song like "Where is Thumbkin" or "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." Have your child guess what song it is and then sing it together!

Book Recommendations:

"Piggies" by Audrey and Don Wood

Extend the learning:

There are many fun songs that have hand motions that go along with them. Search for "toddler fingerplays" on the internet to see a list of some classics. If you don't know the motions, look for a YouTube video that you can learn from or make up your own!