Finger Games to Play with Kids

Are you ever looking for finger games to play with just your hands?  All pediatric therapists love a good game that requires no equipment right? Check out these super fun games! You can download a FREE handout of these games at the bottom of the post.

When and Why to Play Finger Games

Finger games help children with their eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. They are the building blocks of many hand skills that they need to be able to do throughout life. No matter if your child is a toddler or a high schoolers, one needs to practice fine motor skills for them to get better and more developed at them.

These types of games are great to play to practice finger isolation, timing and dexterity.  Try using the games as a warm up activity for handwriting tasks or fine motor skill practice.

Use the games at home too! You can play these games anytime you find yourself waiting at a restaurant or just need an activity that doesn’t take up a lot of time.

Finger Games to Play with Kids – No Equipment Needed

Here are 10 finger games to play that require no equipment or preparation:

ORIGINAL ROCK PAPER SCISSORS – So we all know the usual rules – Rock smashes Scissors – Scissors Cut Paper – Paper covers Rock. On the count of three, you put on your hand as a rock (fist), scissors (two fingers open) or paper (hand flat) and then determine a winner. It can be one and done or best out of 3 trials.

ROCK PAPER SCISSORS BET – Try making a game out of it. If you lose, you have to perform some physical activity. Maybe the loser has to do 10 jumping jacks, push ups or climb the stairs. Or maybe you can agree that the loser has to do you a favor within reason.

ELEPHANT CAT MICE – Try changing up the characters. Elephants stomp on cats, cats chase mice and mice scare elephants. On the count of three, either place both hands forward in a fist like elephant feet, fingers like they are scratching like a cat or wiggle your finger for a mouse tail.

ODD AND EVENS – Face each other about one foot apart.  Place one chair, piece of tape or any object 10 feet behind each player.  One player is odds, the other player is evens.  Players put their hands behind their back.  They say once, twice, three shoot and bring their hands around front showing either one finger or two fingers.  Add the fingers up of both players.  If it is an even number, the player who is evens stays in place.  The odd player takes one step back.  Repeat the game.  The first player that steps 10 feet back to the chair is the loser.

SHADOW PUPPETS – Take a light to shine on the wall or go back a window where the sun is coming in.  Practice making shadow puppets on the wall using just your hands.

HAND CLAPPING GAMES – Hand clapping games are awesome for finger dexterity, timing and motor planning.  Teach a child Miss Mary Mack or check out some You Tube videos to learn some new hand clapping games.

FINGERPLAY SONGS – Practice the Itsy Bitsy Spider, Five Little Monkeys, Little Bunny Foo Foo or check out the Fantastic Fingers Fine Motor Program for many fingerplay songs and games.

Finger Games that Help with Learning Too

FIVE FUN FACTS – Hold up your thumb, and squeeze it with your other hand and state a fun fact about yourself (or another person can state a fun fact or compliment about you).  Hold out only your index finger, squeeze it with your other hand and state fact #2.  And so on moving through and squeezing each finger.

FIVE WORDS – Pick a word.  Start on your thumb, squeeze it and state a word associated with the main word.  Move on to your index finger and so on.  Similar to a game of Categories but using your fingers.

FINGER MEMORY – Player one starts and show one move with his/her fingers i.e. thumbs up.  Player two repeats thumbs up and adds his/her own move i.e. fist.  Player one now repeats – thumbs up, fist and adds a move.  Continue play until someone doesn’t remember a move.

More Fun Resources to Work on Fine Motor Skills

The Color, Cut, and Glue Complete Packet digital download includes 55 simple projects to color, cut, and glue.  Each page provides fine motor skill and visual perceptual skill practice.


Finger Games to Play for Children

Download a FREE Handout of this Post

If you want to share this material with others, you can download a free 2 page handout of this article here.

More Finger Fun

Read about more finger strengthening exercises.