Asabikeshiihn (The Itsy Bitsy Spider)

A woman is holding a toddler on her lap. They are both wearing headbands with spiders on them. A woman is holding a toddler on her lap and they are smiling at one another and both wearing headbands with spiders on them.

Asabikeshiinh (The Little Bitty Spider) is an old children’s song commonly sung to babies and toddlers with gestures as they learn to put words with fine-motor movements. Start with fingers and hands in the shape of a spider and going up, then coming down when the rain begins to sprinkle. Then stand and raise your arms as the sunshine dries off the rain and end with the same spider fingers going back up again. Ojibwe language lessons based on the song can focus on the notion of a net “asab” being made, “asabike” as the name for a spider, “asabikeshiinh” (little net maker). The song also includes several key environmental words children will know for learning more science later.

Andrea Wilkerson with her daughter, Raelyn, wearing some fine asabikeshiinh hats! 

A row of flowers in the Woodland art style by Neebin Southall


Asabikeshiihn gii-akwaandawe
The little bitty spider did climb up

Gii-gimiwan gaa-izhi-bangishing
It did rain and she went down

Giizis ogii-baasaan gakina nibi
The sun came out and dried up all the water

Miinawaa asabikeshiihn neyaab gii-akwaandawe
And the little bitty spider went back to climbing up

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