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Nursery Rhyme Songs: Itsy Bitsy Spider

What nursery rhyme character has eight legs? In America, it’s the “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” In Australia and Great Britain, it’s known as the “Incy Wincy Spider.”

Itsy Bitsy Spider 

The itsy bitsy spider
   climbed up the waterspout.

Down came the rain
   and washed the spider out.

Out came the sun
    and dried up all the rain,

And the itsy bitsy spider 
    climbed up the spout again.

This well-loved nursery rhyme was first published in 1910 with alternate words—the spider climbed its web rather than a waterspout. The modern lyrics we enjoy today were published in 1948 in two publications: Western Folklore by the California Folklore Society and American Folk Songs for Children by Mike and Peggy Seeger, which also included other familiar nursery rhymes like “This Old Man” and “Skip to My Lou.” 

This catchy little action rhyme teaches us that life is full of ups and downs. No matter how many times you get knocked down, you can get back up again with a sunny disposition!

One reason children love this friendly spider is because of the fun hand motions that go with the lyrics. Both young and old enjoy touching their thumb to their pointer finger and crawling them back and forth up the waterspout.

See the full actions with the lyrics below.

Itsy Bitsy Spider Lyrics and Actions

The itsy bitsy spider
climbed up the waterspout.
Alternate touching your thumb to your pointer finger, making your hands crawl upwards.
Down came the rain
and washed the spider out.
Spread your fingers open and pull them down like rain.
Sweep your hands across.
Out came the sun
    and dried up all the rain,
Raise arms over your head, touching fingertips together.
And the itsy bitsy spider
     climbed up the spout again.
Crawl your fingers upward again.

Sing and move along with this favorite spider nursery rhyme song!

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