HOW TO: Perform the Itsy Bitsy Spider

No parent should be made to feel stupid in front of their child. Modern Day Dad recently mentioned his "utter inability to do that itsy-bitsy spider thing" at a toddler playgroup and the grave degradation it caused to his self image.

Lyric: The itsy. Your thumb and index fingers touch their opposites on each hand.

In the interest of preventing future tragedy, I present The Itsy Bitsy Spider song gestures for further study. Many thanks to Mom for posing for these photos. Feel free to ask technical questions in the comment area.

Lyric: bitsy spider. Your thumb and index fingers now trade places. Afterward, they are still touching opposite digits on each hand.

Your top index finger and thumb remain touching as your bottom index finger and thumb rotate upward to touch again.

Lyric: climbed up. Your thumb and index fingers switch places again.

Lyric: the water spout. Your thumb and index fingers switch places again.

Lyric: Down. Separate and raise your hands horizontally and wiggle your fingers.

Lyric: came. Begin lowering your hands to simulate rainfall.

Lyric: the rain. Your hands continue to lower until this lyric is finished.

Lyric: and washed. Extend your arms downward in front of you, crossing your arms slightly

Lyric: the. Begin separating your arms horizontally in a sweeping motion away from each other.

Lyric: spider out. Finish this gesture with your arms far apart.

Lyric: Out came the sun. Turn your hands palms up and begin to sweep them upward.

Lyric: and dried up all the rain. Finish this gesture with your hands completing a circle above your head with the tips of your fingers touching each other.

Lyric: And the itsy bitsy spider. Return your hands to your chest and repeat the initial index finger and thumb exchange that began the song.

Lyric: climbed up the spout again. Continue the index finger and thumb exchange until the song is completed.

Note: The number of times you do a thumb-to-index finger exchange to simulate the spider climbing at the beginning and end of the song is a matter of your own dexterity. Duplicate photos of this sequence were omitted for brevity.


4 Responses to “HOW TO: Perform the Itsy Bitsy Spider”

  1. ThreePts says:

    Classic. Always coming up with the good posts. Good job.

    August 4th, 2005 at 3:35 pm

  2. tod says:

    Cute, but those floating arms might scare my daughter. :-O

    August 17th, 2005 at 6:33 pm

  3. MBN says:

    Thanks for the instructions and gestures. As a mother of a fourteen-month-old, I was embarrassed because I had no idea how to do this either!

    April 3rd, 2006 at 8:05 pm

  4. Devon says:

    Awesome! Couple of other tips…with younger toddlers who can’t master the thumb to finger exchange just yet, just pinch your index finger and thumb together and twist your hands upward.

    Here’s an eensey weensey spider video young ones enjoy:

    March 8th, 2007 at 5:58 pm

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