Turtle Rhyme

Literacy Tip

Hi! My name is Jessica. The Turtle rhyme helps a child build storytelling skills and self-esteem! It follows a simple sequence, with a surprise ending for the toddler or preschool child. This rhyme is especially fun when it becomes a game of anticipation! Who knows where that turtle will snap next?


There was a little turtle, who lived inside a box (Make a turtle with your fist, using the thumb as his head. Cover all but the thumb with the palm of your other hand, forming a shell).
He swam in a puddle (swim),
he climbed on the rocks (climb).

He snapped at a mosquito (snap your pointer/middle finger and thumb at child),
he snapped at the flea (snap),
he snapped at the minnow (snap),
and he snapped at me (snap).

He caught the mosquito (pretend to catch part of the child),
he caught the flea (catch),
he caught the minnow (catch),
but he didn’t catch me (shake head, point at self, smile)!

Video Information

  • Creator: Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy
  • Performers: Jessica Hodgeman Hesselberg
  • Contributors: Rocky Mountain PBS
  • Source: Public Domain
Rating: 4.2/5. From 3 votes. Show votes.
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One Comment

  • We have used this rhyme for years! Especially good with intellectually challenged children because they can copy the actions and enjoy the snapping!

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