Shake my sillies out
A song to banish the fidgets and wake everyone up!
Learn the song with Beccy Owen

Singer songwriter Beccy Owen teaches you how to sing 'Shake my sillies out'






Activity ideas based around the song

This popular song is ideal for when you need a mood boost or a break from home schooling. It’s fun and active, and good for dissipating any tension. The words are appealing and alliterative too, so it can be used as a segue into a literacy activity. 

Listening and learning
Start off by listening to other versions such as this one sung by Raffi and another by The Wiggles. Then play the Sing Up performance track – it’s easy to pick up. Notice that Verse 4 is set at a slower tempo (pace) to match the sleepy mood, but the song picks up speed for the final verse.

Next, watch Beccy Owen’s video and follow along as she teaches the song line by line. You could either take it in turns with someone to sing alternate lines and then all join in on ‘and wiggles my waggles away’ or all sing the whole thing. Be sure to do the actions as you sing, (you could perform them on the beat), whether it’s a shake, clap or jump. 


  • Pick out the alliteration in the lyrics:


    Beccy makes some new suggestions too, including ‘flick my fingers out’ and ‘slide my slithers out’. Her suggestion ‘fly through the sky’ (inspired by her toy owl) uses rhyme and demonstrates the varied possibilities when making up your own lyrics.
  • Encourage everyone at home to invent new verbs and actions using alliteration or rhyme where possible. Use combinations such as ‘tap my talkies out’, ‘dance my dafties out’, ‘flap my fidgets out’ etc. Why not take inspiration from teddies, dolls, toys or puppets at home and what they might be able to do?


  • If you have access to an instrument you could play along to the song. On the ukulele or guitar, you’ll only need 3 chords: G7, (or G) C, and F.
  • Adapt the song to include action words for playing percussion, like shake, tap, and ring. If you don’t have any instruments to hand then try making your own (there are some great tutorials online) using things that can be found in the home, such as part of a balloon stretched over a tin for a drum and toilet roll tubes filled with rice and sealed at both ends for shakers). Then try out new verses depending on what you’ve made, for example:
  • ‘I’ve got to ... shake, shake, shake my maracas ... tap, tap, tap my tambourine ... ring, ring, ring my bells ... and make up some music today!’


  • Use the actions from the song and those newly invented to choreography a dance sequence. Each dancer could choose four linked movements to perform. They could perform these to someone at home or teach them someone else and then perform them together. You could create a longer sequence by adding together your sequence to someone else’s. 

RPS Making Music Smart Teacher 2017 Teacher 2018 Besa Music & Drama Education Awards Music & Drama Education Awards 2023 Finalist