Shake Your Sillies Out

In addition to my storytime duties, I also try to have a once in a while special program for ages 3-7. Last week at the library, we shook our sillies out.

(Really, this program was a big excuse to use my new storytime aides that we purchased after receiving a Target Early Literacy grant this summer. And believe me, the kids LOVED the new items — especially after I told them that they were the first kids to get to use them!)

I kicked off the program with “Dancing Feet” by Lindsay Craig; illustrated by Marc Brown.

The kids tapped and stomped their feet along to this animal guessing story. The book has got great rhythm and my kids love when they get to guess which animal is coming next. The book will definitely be used again and again at my storytimes.

Next up, I read “I Know a Shy Fellow Who Swallowed a Cello” by Barbara S. Garriel.

This book is based on the “I Know an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly” song, so my kids figured it out pretty quickly. It was fun hearing them try to recite the story along with me as I went, but the kids did get tripped up on some of the instruments. I can see this working as a great introduction to different instruments in a music class.

And that was it for the stories at this program. The rest of the program was shaking! First up, I passed out egg shakers to do the hokey pokey:

“Hokey Pokey” (with egg shakers)
You shake your egg up, you shake your egg down
You shake your egg up, and you shake it all around
You do the hokey pokey, and you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about!
(more verses can include: left/right, front/back, etc.)
Credit: Bay Views Storytime Ideas

Followed by a rendition of “Shake Your Sillies Out.”

“Shake Your Sillies Out” (with shakers)
Gotta shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out
And wiggle my waggles away
(more verses can include: clap my crazies out, jump my jiggles out,
stretch my stretchies out, yawn my sleepies out)
Credit: Raffi

I forgot the tune of this one as I started to sing, so I made it up and went with it. Most of the time, I try to sing this to “Skip to My Lou,” but I know there’s a proper tune out there!

Then, we traded our shakers for our activity scarves. I was done singing for a bit, so I put in a CD of “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It” for the kids to move their scarves around to. Our version of “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” has instructions on it to use with scarves.

Then, we put away our scarves and got out our parachute. Our is a small one — I think it’s a 20′ one — but it’s perfect for our space. I started off by throwing six soft balls on the parachute and just letting the kids shake the parachute until the balls fell off. We call this game “Bouncy Balls” and it is a crowd-pleaser! Everyone shrieks and laughs while we do this and I’m pretty sure that they could play this all day if I left them.

Next, we tried a brand-new parachute game with one of my favorite baby bouncy rhymes:

“The Noble Duke of York”
The noble duke of York (shake parachute)
He had ten thousand men (shake parachute)
He marched them up to the top of the hill (parachute up)
And marched them down again (parachute down)
He marched them to the left (walk to the left)
He marched them to the left (walk to the left)
He marched them to the right (walk to the right)
He marched them to the right (walk to the right)
And then he marched them up (parachute up)
And then he marched them down again (parachute down)
Oh, what a silly sight! (shake again)
Credit: Preschool Education – Parachute Games

Another big hit here. The kids did this one three times in a row before I went to the center of the parachute and told everyone to let go. (It makes bunching up the chute into a game, and it also goes much easier than trying to get preschoolers to fold it up.)

Our craft was just a simple paper plate shaker.

My teens pre-stapled the plates, leaving just the smallest gap for dumping beans into. We had a table just for beans, and there was a giant mess on the floor. While the kids were attaching the streamers (pre-cut) with Glue Dots, I brought out the carpet sweeper to pick up the beans — every kid INSISTED on having a turn with the sweeper to pick up the beans. After the beans were picked up, I had to put more on the floor so that everyone could have a turn.

The kids are always surprising me. A task that I absolutely hate, but find necessary, they are amazed with.


  1. Loud and Quiet! | storytime katie - October 5, 2011

    […] is the same craft that I did for “Shake Your Sillies Out” but instead I had the shakers pre-made and the kids just colored them. I didn’t want to be […]

  2. Rhythm and Sounds | never shushed - February 4, 2013

    […] started story time at each location with Storytime Katie’s version of Rafi’s Shake Your Sillies Out using shakers. I was inspired after arranging an upcoming summer visit to our library by the […]

  3. Birds Storytime – Library Joy - July 30, 2019

    […] SHAKER EGG SONG: “Shake My Sillies Out” Credit: Storytime Katie […]

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