The hokey pokey is the kind of song that every teacher remembers learning as a kid. Truth be told, though, it used to give me the shudders at the very thought of teaching it. Sure, teaching the difference between left and right seems like a good idea at first, but just remember how hard it is not to get them mixed up if you’re a preschooler. Then there are the difficult lyrics, I mean just look at them… was it even worth the effort? Weren’t there songs that got you more bang for your buck?
But Super Simple Learning, the award winning creator of children songs, naturally forced me to rethink this. In their awesome The Hokey Pokey Shake (found on Super Simple Songs 2), they’ve cleaned out the left and rights, the turn yourself arounds, and those dreaded that’s what it’s all abouts. What you’re left with is a cleaner song that teaches kids (in a simple way) about the parts of the body, the difference between singular and plural, and some simple actions that make for a great TPR song with no confusing lyrics.
Like their The Wheels on the Bus, there are two versions of the song subtitled Let’s Learn and Let’s Sing. The first version goes at a pretty slow pace but is ideal to introduce the song and vocabulary to really young kids for the first time. The latter one is a little more energetic, with more sound effects, and is great for use as review in the following class since it has a little extra punch.
[Oops, an earlier version of this post had the wrong videos uploaded, although they are pretty awesome too!]
My kids really liked both songs. Truth be told, they thought the words “hokey pokey” were so funny they ended up in stitches just saying them. As always there are free flashcards you can download from the song pages (Let’s Learn version & Let’s Sing version) as well as some great tips for teaching the song. The flash cards come in handy for pre-teaching the vocabulary, and I also recycled them later in the camera game for review.
Check out these videos to get some great tips from Super Simple Learning on how to teach the songs:
- Open Shut Them (And Other Opposites) by Super Simple Learning
- Count and Move by Super Simple Learning