When I Am Baptized: Egg Shakers

Egg Shakers

Such a small thing, but so powerful when used to a steady beat!

Younger Children

Ask the children, “Can your hand follow my hand?”

Demonstrate the following pattern – Long, Long, Long, Long, Long, Long, short, short Long (quarter, quarter, eighth, eighth, quarter) over and over again.  (Note: you won’t start shaking the egg for this pattern until the second word/downbeat.)  The two short shakes come on the words “rain,” “-gain,””rain,” and “-gain.”

Before handing out the eggs, have the children practice the pattern a couple times.  Ask them to do the pattern with their pretend egg as you sing.  Sing the song and do the pattern with the children. To add interest you can say, “Freeze” at the end of the phrase and then ask the children to turn a different way.  (Turn to this wall!  You continue singing the next phrase, then say freeze again.  Have the children turn a different way.)

Have other adults help you pass out the eggs to the children.  (One of the posts on this blog told me of putting 7 eggs into 6 bags, then she just passes the bags to the teachers.  The teachers then pass out the eggs and collect them.  Such a smart idea!)

Sing the song again, doing the pattern with the children as you sing.  Using freezes while they are shaking the eggs is a great idea (it also helps with control of the classroom).

Tell the children you noticed that every time we sing the word “rain,” we shake our eggs three times (short, short, long).  Demonstrate by singing and shaking.  Also tell them that “guess what?  we also shake three times on again!”  Demonstrate.

Sing the song again doing the pattern, asking the children to make sure to shake three times every time they sing rain and again.

It is a great challenge for the younger children, and it is fun for them!


Older Children

Say to the children, “Here’s the pattern.”  Demonstrate the following pattern at least four times to the beat.

Shake, shake, change hands, hit the egg to your thigh (patsch).

Ask the children to describe this pattern with their words.  Demonstrate the pattern again as the children describe what you are doing.  Challenge the children to do the pattern with you using an imaginary egg.

Do the pattern a couple of times, then begin singing the song and doing the pattern.  (Note:  you will pause on the word “can” with your egg on your thigh for the fermata.)  Sing the song all the way through as you do the pattern.

When you finish singing, pass the eggs out to the children.  Immediately start the pattern and sing the song as you do the pattern.

Call out “Freeze!”  Ask the children to hold their eggs up in the air.  Tell the children that by the count of 10, they need to exchange eggs with someone else so that they have another color of egg.

Sing the song and do the pattern again with their new color of egg.

Ask the children to quickly hand their eggs in to their teachers as you conclude the activity.


Brain research tells us that the attitude we feel and experience while we are learning something stays with us much longer than what we learn!  This activity is challenging for the children, and it is fun!  They are engaged, learning the words through the back door, and they are practicing their ability to keep a steady beat… all at the same time!


12 Responses

  1. Barbra

    how do you do the patterns with your hands? it says long long short etc but i can’t quite picture in my hand how i can do it without the egg shakers at first when i am demonstrating? thanks for sharing your ideas!!!

    • Sharla Dance

      You hold the egg in your hand and shake it once on these words:
      I Like (shake) to look (shake) for rainbows (shake) (shake)
      when ever (shake) there (shake) is rain (two fast shakes, then a long one)

      And ponder (shake) on (shake) the beauty (shake) of an (shake)
      earth (shake) made clean (shake) again (two fast shakes, then a long one)


      Hope this helps!

  2. Ann Leete

    Sharla- At the Portland workshop you had a chart with colored big and small loops with small xs that we used the shaker eggs with. I have a picture of the chart, but I can’t quite remember how to do it. Will you be posting it?
    Thank you so much for all your helps!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Ann, I am leaving for a workshop tomorrow morning, but I will try to look for the chart and answer you. I would love you to remind me though!

      • Missy

        Sharla, I adore you and your ideas. Did you ever find the chart Ann was requesting? I, too, would love to see it. I am so musically challenged and appreciate you and your kindness with sharing all of your amazing ideas. I am an educator and appreciate how talented you are with the ability to really touch our kids. Thank you!

        • Sharla Dance

          Could you jog my memory and remind me of the chart you are thinking of? Thanks, Sharla

  3. Amber

    I enjoy using many of your rhythm-based activites with our primary. How do you generally handle a fermata when doing these types of exercises? For example in this song, what do you do with the egg shakers when you get to “I want to do the best I can”? Thanks so much

    • Sharla Dance

      I call out “Freeze” and we pause for a moment, then continue. If it seems best, you can also ignore the fermata for that activity.

  4. Paula Vandruff

    what a cute idea I will use it this Sunday and oher times as well!

  5. Katie Sundberg

    Do you have any thoughts for what the children could use instead of an egg for a shaker? I’m doing this online and I want the parents to be able to grab something quickly. A lot of people don’t have Easter eggs handy. If I can’t think of something else, I might just make 75 of these and deliver them to all the children’s homes.

    • Sharla Dance

      Our Primary presidency did deliver shakers, paper plates, egg cartons, and rhythm sticks to all the homes. However, before that, I asked the children to get a small tupperware filled with rice or beans or grain… something that would shake. I got some videos of the plastic containers they made at home.

      Thank you for asking!

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