Shake six times. Pass to the left. Pick up on the right. It seems so simple, but sitting in a circle with ten or more other children makes it a group effort with logic, music, and movement!
Fill enough plastic Easter eggs with rice so that each child in your older Primary can have one.
Wrap them securely with duct tape (children love the colorful types).
You can buy commercial egg shakers which are factory sealed.
Ask for seven or so children to be volunteers. Seat them in a circle close enough that they could hand the eggs to each other. Set the boundaries. (If you use this inappropriately, I take it. No questions asked. You don’t want me to take it because this is a great activity.) Show them the pattern. Shake, shake, shake, Shake, shake, shake. Pass (put the shaker on the floor to your left). Pick up (pick up the shaker on your right). Have them practice the pattern two or three times, then as they continue in the pattern, begin to sing.
Now I am here in a beautiful place,
Shake, shake, shake, Shake, shake, shake, Pass. Pick up.
Learn – ing the teach- ings of Jesus
Shake, shake, shake, Shake, shake, shake, Pass. Pick up.
At that point I ask each child find some friends and get in groups of 10 or more to sit in a circle. Have someone help you distribute the eggs to the children and begin to sing the song.
Hints: If someone starts piling up the eggs (which often will happen with a child that needs a little more rhythmic help), just stop the song. Redistribute the eggs. Continue where you left off.
Without knowing it, the children are practicing steady beat, moving to a phrase, and teamwork. They are crossing the midline over and over again which helps the two sides of their brain talk to each other more successfully. They are hearing the song while fully engaged in participating. They are having to use their logic and kinesthetic abilities to remember the pattern and to do it. At the end of the song, I stop them and bear a quick testimony. The blood is pumping more vigorously in their veins, yet not in a rowdy way. They are fully listening. The Spirit can enter the room and their hearts.
Here is a demonstration of the activity from my most recent workshop.
Great activity. I was curious about it when you first posted your month outline and found this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ee6rXH1sNyc. We did that version last week. It took significant help from all the other grown-ups in the room to keep the rhythm going, but the kids loved it when we finally got in the groove.
Yours version is much more manageable for the kids, but still looks like a fun challenge. I’m glad to have it in my arsenal. 🙂
I love the work that Kalani does! Thank you for sharing this link.
Cammie in AZ
Sharla, I am so grateful for you and this blog that you are doing! I can’t wait to be able to subscribe because I find myself checking your site multiple times a day because I can’t wait to see what else you’ve posted! 🙂 I also find myself praying for you (for selfish reasons!!) that you will be blessed in the rest of your life and all you have going on so that you will be able to keep your blog up to date! LOL Thank you!!!
Egg shakers are the best. Thanks for sharing. Important to set boundaries so the kids don’t get too crazy. Thanks!
Sharla, I love this egg shaker idea! Thank you so much for your help to teach these young sweet spirits. Quick question, do you have the kids sit on the floor in a circle to do this egg shaker activity? I think I will use it for Come Follow Me, because my kids already have I Know That My Savior Loves Me down pretty well.
Great idea Heidi. It works well for that song. Yes, I have the children sit on the floor for the activity. I ask them to freeze at the end of the song, and beat a short testimony. I have found it essential at that point to ask them to sit back down in their chairs (a place for them to regroup themselves and self govern). I count down from 10 as the transition time. At the end of the count, I start another activity. Thanks for asking! Did you see the video of this (taken at a workshop recently)? I think it is was added to the blog page.
I love you and your ideas, Sharla. I have a letter I’d love to email you, so it doesn’t take up this whole blog. : ) Please let me know how I can share that with you.
I was wondering if you (or anyone reading this blog) could offer any direction as to what egg shakers would be best to purchase. I bought some before, but when I received them, the quality was poor and I returned them. I’d rather not make them myself, as I’m worried about the seal failing with just the glue, and if I used the tape, it seems not as comfortable to hold and not as easy to clean. I’ve looked online, but my concern is I don’t want ones that are too loud or too soft, or too cheaply made.
Also, did you purchase your partner scarves or make them? Do you know of anywhere I could purchase those? I am not crafty! About four years ago- after attending one of your classes- I purchased individual activity scarves from Lakeshore Learning, and they rock! But I need bigger ones, too, for the partner option.
While I’m at it, I don’t know if you have any recommendations for where I could buy the varied rhythm instruments.
(I saw your creative ways to use items we may already have at home- which is great, too! We use paper plates for routines (because of you!), and even do drumming with pencils (eraser-side hits the plates) onto two paper plates stacked together upside down.)
Thank you for any advice you can offer in this area, and for your time. As I have the funds, I can add to the collection!! Sorry to be all about the buying with these questions. These are all valuable tools to add to the options of multiple learning methods we can utilize. Hooray for learning through movement and music!
I’m going to answer each of those questions in a different comment sections. Here are some places to buy egg shakers:
Musician’s friend, Groth Music, West Music, and others have great egg shakers. Here are some websites:
http://www.westmusic.com/p/basic-beat-bb201-egg-shaker-202376 (this has a price break with 10 or more eggs)
Display Costume ships all over the United States and has some of the best prices on chiffon for scarves I’ve ever found. You order whatever color you want in whatever yards you want. We recently did partner scarves for a workshop in January and found we could get quite a few from a couple of yards. Here is their website: http://displaycostume.reachlocal.net/store/Chiffon.html
The rhythm instruments, scarves, and egg shakers are things that peak the children’s interest. They extend the children’s body motions and make them bigger than just themselves alone. I agree that they are a valuable investment. Good for you for planning for it. Take care, Sharla (P.S. any of the sites for egg shakers also have rhythm instruments.)
I love this idea. In our senior primary there are 86 children. Would you just start with a small group and exchange? Cramped for space as well. Same iissue in Jr. Lucky and grateful. I have enjoyed your ideas so far and would appreciate your input.
Dear Char, I would divide and conquer, just as you have suggested. Perhaps two groups of twenty, then they give the egg to someone who has not had a turn yet for the second time through the song. We push chairs back if we can because it really works better on the floor, but you could try circling the chairs, too.
Do you think the egg shaker activity would work in a combined jr. sr. group? Because of lack of rooms we have a combined primary of about 40 – 50 kids. We’re in the gym so we have plenty of room, but I’m not sure the sunbeams would be able to handle this. It’s always a little tricky to find an activity that is not boring for the older kids, but is also not too hard for the young ones. Thanks for all your ideas. We did the paper plate activity in our combined group last week, and everyone from the Sunbeams to the 11 year old class loved it.
Curious as to the dimensions of the individual scarves and partner scarves. Thanks.
I have three different sizes of scarves, each from different needs and years. My first set are smaller, very appropriate for 2 to 7 year olds, although they can be used for all. They measure 24″ x 24″. My next set (which I bought another year after those scarves) are bigger, appropriate for 8 to 11 year olds. They measure 34″ x 34″. They catch the wind better for the bigger children. I love my partner scarves, which came even later. They are 25″ x 50″ and work really well with one person on each end of the scarf. (I had to make them myself because they don’t sell that size commercially.) If you don’t buy the small or large scarves commercially at a music supply store which caters to children’s “tools,” the best place to order scarf material is Displaycostume.com. Great prices for just the right scarf material for music. Hope this helps!
At the end of this post, you say, “Here is a demonstration of the activity from my most recent workshop.” But, a video isn’t popping up, at least on my computer. So, I found the link to one video of your egg shaker activity on YouTube:
* I love the video of Kalani’s (link in first comment), and am excited to combine it with your directions and then will try to tie everything together with testimony…
I’m looking into buying chiffon material from the site you recommended: displaycostume.com. If buying several yards and cutting to smaller scarves, should edges be sewn and finished to prevent fraying? I’m not an experienced sewer and need advice. 🙂
No sewing necessary with this particular kind of material. (That’s why I love it.) I’ve been using my scarves for 20 years and they are just now starting to show any fraying on the edges. Thanks for asking!