Here is a list of songs and activities for your primary students that only involve the use of a shaker egg. If your in-person students aren’t able to sing due to COVID-19 restrictions, egg shakers are great because they are easy to disinfect with wipes or spray. The following songs work well with toddlers, Preschool, and Kindergarten. Several songs listed on my jingle bells post would also work well with shaker eggs.
“I Can Shake My Shaker Egg” by Mr. Eric & Mr. Michael
I use this for entering the music room. Kids receive an egg while they are waiting outside the door. I let them know that they need to be very sneaky and walk in a circle in the room quietly while they shake their eggs. Then, the music will get a little louder and a little faster! During the last few measures of the song, they take their eggs and hurry over to sit down on a sit spot. The words are set to the tune of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” so it’s great for Halloween.
I Love to Hear the Sounds by Kathy Reid-Naiman
“Shake and Stop” by Lynn Kleiner
This is a great one to introduce egg shakers to your kids. They play when they hear music and freeze on the word “stop.” To make it more fun, I stop and freeze in a new pose each time. Then, if we use the song again, I ask them to freeze in new ways.
Instead of tapping sticks or clapping, we can use our shaker eggs to echo rhythms. If the kids are just learning to echo patterns, eggs are a bit more forgiving for those who may struggle at first. I play the rhythm on an instrument like a tone block or sticks, then they echo with their eggs. During October, I use the words “spider” and “web” for my patterns. For example, 2 quarter notes and 2 beamed 8th notes would be “web, web, spider, spider.” I change up the words throughout the year to match my lessons. Students can also shake during the echo portions of songs like Lynn’s “Hello (Echo) Song”. Tots and Pre-K LOVE this hello song.
Shake My Sillies Out
This classic kids song is great to use with a shaker for obvious reasons. I like this version by Nikki Loney. There’s a little musical interlude where I let kids move or dance on their own.
There are a few other egg shaker songs and activities that you can find on YouTube but these are the ones that I’ve tried. I found the above songs on Spotify and made a playlist for myself. Every week I try to utilize a different instrument, so it’s nice to have a list of songs to choose from when planning my lessons.
“I Know A Chicken” by Laurie Berkner
Angela King reminded me of this gem recently on Instagram. It’s fantastic for practicing fast and slow! To jazz this one up, I have the kids make chicken sounds, hold their eggs in funny ways as if they are presenting a super special egg to the world, and then on “it was a shaky egg,” they lay the eggs on their palms and wiggle it a little as if it’s shaking on its own.
Here’s a fun twist on shaker eggs for this song if you have a gathering drum! West Music and Lynn Kleiner have both stated that these drums can be cleaned with a disinfecting wipe. Use in small groups and repeat the first half of the song for each group (the fast and slow sections). Then, after everyone’s had a turn, let the second half of the song play out as the kids shake in their seats.
Egg Shaker Playlist by Jbary
This child librarian duo has created a great playlist of shaker egg songs. Most of the songs are piggyback songs and the lyrics are included in the video descriptions so you teach them easily without the videos.
Found Sound Scavenger Hunt
If you are teaching virtually, I made a fun scavenger hunt activity where kids used found sounds from their environment to mimic the timbre of classroom instrument. Direct students to find something that makes a sound like a shaker egg. Set a timer for 1 or 2 minutes and see what the kids bring back. Some examples could be a box of macaroni, a bucket of building blocks, or a box of cereal. You don’t need a Google Slides presentation for this, you can just model the instrument, but if you’d like one, here’s a presentation that I’ve created for a variety of instruments. It also includes rhythm slides at the end that older students can perform on their at-home instruments.
You can find this resource on TpT:
I hope these activities come in handy. The younger students need so many short activities, it’s nice to have a few on deck when you need them!