‘Crocodile Snap’ is a warm-up song created for the GriffinOT Supporting Pencil Grasp Development programme.  It aims to help children to find their ‘crocodile fingers’ or the fingers they need to hold onto their pencil when writing. The children follow actions which include whole hand movements and individual finger movements.  These have been combined to help children develop the finger isolation required for a functional pencil grasp.  Occupational therapist Kim Griffin wrote the lyrics specifically to help children find the fingers they need to use when holding a pencil.  Pat Savina kindly wrote the music and performed the song.

“I just need to say ‘Crocodile Snap’ and my daughter corrects her pencil grip” Dianne, Australia

When using this song teachers and parents should encourage children to follow along with the actions. It is important that once all of their fingers have snapped, that they tuck away their little and ring finger. After this line in the song the child should be snapping with their thumb, index and middle fingers only. This helps them to isolate the fingers needed to hold onto their pencil. Then when the child is holding a pencil their teacher or caregiver can encourage them to use their ‘crocodile fingers.’  This reminds them to tuck away their little and ring finger and to use the other fingers to snap their pencil.

Crocodile Snap Actions

Fingers can wiggle – all fingers wiggle

Fingers can snap – open and close your fingers to your thumb

Individual fingers then wiggle and close to the thumb

Bye bye baby – little finger tucks down to the palm

Bye bye ring – ring finger tucks down to the palm

Crocodiles sing – index and middle fingers snap down to the thumb, whilst the little and ring finger stay tucked away

Children should be encouraged to continue this action for the rest of the song

How to use the song in your the Classroom

We recommend teachers use the song as whole class warm up with children before starting handwriting lessons. The song can also be used with individual children as a reminder. At any time the child is writing we also recommend that if they are using the incorrect fingers on their pencil, that you remind them to use their ‘Crocodile Fingers.’ You can put the classroom wall poster up in the classroom to remind children to ‘Snap their pencil.’  And you can also use the colouring sheet with the children when first introducing the song.

Crocodile Snap Words

Crocodile Snap Wall Poster

Crocodile Snap Colouring Page

If you need more ideas on how to help children with their pencil grasp our programme Supporting Pencil Grasp Development can help.

How to use the song at Home

The song is freely available on YouTube so you can watch it at home as well. Again, we recommend that you use it before your child starts to write or colour.  You can also remind your child to use their ‘crocodile fingers’ when they are holding a pencil. You may also want to use wall poster and colouring sheets at home too.  Our Supporting Pencil Grasp Development programme is also easy to access.  Parent’s may find the online version most suitable as there are video demonstrations to show them what to do for each activity.

Crocodile Snap Words

Lyrics Kim Griffin, Music and Performance by Pat Savina © 2019

Fingers can wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Fingers can snap, snap, snap, snap.
Fingers can wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Hands can clap, clap, clap, clap.
Let’s go and find your writing hand
Thumb can wiggle,
Thumb can snap;
Peter can wiggle,
Peter can snap;
Toby can wiggle,
Toby can snap;
Ruby can wiggle,
Ruby can snap;
Even baby can wiggle,
And baby can snap;
Everybody wiggle,
Everybody snap.
Now let’s try the other hand out (Repeat verse)

Now what does this all mean?
Fingers can wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle,
Fingers can snap, snap, snap, snap.
Fingers can freeze;
Hold it still!
Bye bye baby,
Bye bye ring,
It’s time to let our crocodiles sing;
Ready crocodiles!
We hold your pencil,
We’re ready to write,
We’ll help you colour,
With all our might,
We’ll work super hard,
We will not nap,
But just remember,
Crocodiles can snap!

Snap your ear,
Snap your nose,
Snap your shoulder.
Snap them fast,
Snap them slow,
Snap them over.

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