Easy-to-teach, easy-to-learn educational resources for young children.

The Hokey Pokey Shake (Learn It)

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Language Focus Other songs about: parts of the body

"In." "Out." Parts of the body vocabulary (hand, hands, foot, feet, head, backside). Simple commands (shake, turn around, clap, sit down, stand up, sing, be quiet, bow).

The Hokey Pokey Shake (Learn It) Lyrics and Actions

[Begin with everyone standing in a circle.]

Let's try the Hokey Pokey!
Show me one hand. [Hold up one hand.]
You put one hand in. [Put one hand in the circle.]
One hand out. [Put that hand out of the circle.]
One hand in. [Put the hand back into the circle.]
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. [Shake your hand.]
You do the Hokey Pokey [Spin and dance] and turn around.
Everybody turn around. [Turn around in a circle.]

Great! Now we're going to try two hands. [Hold up both hands.]
One hand. [Hold up one hand.]
Two hands. [Hold up two hands.]
You put two hands in.
Two hands out.
Two hands in.
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.
You do the Hokey Pokey and clap your hands.
Everybody clap your hands.

Great! Show me one foot. [Lift up one foot.]
One foot.
You put one foot in.
One foot out.
One foot in.
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.
You do the Hokey Pokey and sit down.
Everybody please sit down.

Okay! Now we have one foot...[Point to one foot.]
Show me two feet. [Hold up both feet.]
You put two feet in.
Two feet out.
Two feet in.
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.
You do the Hokey Pokey and stand up.
Everybody please stand up.

Now your head! [Point to your head.]
You put your head in.
You put your head out.
You put your head in.
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.
You do the Hokey Pokey and sing a song.
La, la, la, la, la, la!

Well done! Now, let's shake our backside! [Wiggle your bottom]
Are you ready?
You put your backside in.
Your backside out.
Your backside in.
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.
You do the Hokey Pokey and be quiet.
Everybody please be quiet. Shh!
Be quiet. Shh!

Your whole self. [Draw a circle around yourself with your finger.]
You put your whole self in.
Your whole self out.
Your whole self in.
And you shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.
You do the Hokey Pokey and take a bow.
Everybody take a bow.
That's right. Take a bow. Take a BIG bow. [Encourage all the students to take a bow.]
You did a great job! You're ready to sing!

Classroom Benefits

The Super Simple Songs version of "The Hokey Pokey" has simpler language than the traditional version, but also a lot more actions. You'll notice we don't use "left" and "right" in this song. Our version was created for children as young as 2 years old, and left and right are concepts they just aren't ready for. You'll also notice we focus a little bit on singular and plural (one hand, two hands...one foot, two feet). Don't worry about explicitly teaching singular and plural at this stage, but do try to draw attention to the difference.

The "Learn It" version is really slow and gentle, making it perfect for very young children, children with special needs, or for any child doing the Hokey Pokey for the first time. Try it during circle time! It's easy to follow...just listen to the song and follow the directions.

Activity Ideas

This song is great for taking a break when kids need to stretch or to get the wiggles out. 1

Use it to introduce or review parts of the body. See our Pinterest board on Teaching Parts of the Body for more ideas and storybook suggestions. 2

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