Classic French Nursery Rhymes & Finger Games: Videos, Lyrics, & Music

You may have forgotten most of the nursery rhymes of your childhood, but most likely, those simple songs and rhymes helped you learn the rhythm and sounds of your native language. Whether you're simply curious about French comptines (nursery rhymes) or are serious about wanting to play in French with your little one, these online videos of simple French songs with fingerplays will make you smile:

Clémentine of La Boite à Comptines has created more than 40 videos of French songs and finger rhymes, and her pronunciation is quite clear. Some of the most well-known comptines she features include A cheval sur mon bidet and Pomme de reinette et pommel d'api.

Tourne tourne petit moulin  performed by  Clémentine

Tourne tourne petit moulin performed by Clémentine

La Bibliothèque Municipale de Lyon has posted their YouTube playlist of a few dozen comptines and jeux de doigts (finger games) ranging from the very simple Petit escargot to playground clapping rhythms like Dans ma maison sous terre.

For more videos, searching YouTube for jeu de doigts maternelle will turn up many other French finger play songs, though most are animated cartoons. You can, however, find more little treasures such as this one:

Looking for written lyrics? features a comprehensive list of French nursery rhyme lyrics, though there are no accompanying videos or sound bites.

Would you love to hear nursery rhymes in other languages too? Mama Lisa's World features playable MP3 files of songs from many, many cultures, France included.

Which are your favorite French nursery rhymes or finger games? Which nursery rhymes do you recall from your childhood (in any language)?