santa shark
Fa la la la Language Activities for Christmas

Christmas is such a magical time for children (and many adults- like me!) and as such it can be so beneficial to use these special moments to help kids learn to talk. As a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP), I love using songs to support the language concepts I teach in speech therapy. You can find... Read more »

Mother and Two Children with iPad
Why Speech Language Pathologists Love Super Simple

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, and as a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) it is my favorite time of year because it gets people talking about speech and language development, spreads awareness of hearing and communication disorders, and helps get children much needed early intervention. Speech therapists work on many different communication skills, one... Read more »

babies at halloween
5 ways to make Halloween parties less scary for young kids

We always try to stress the playfulness of Halloween. It’s a time for dressing up, playing games, singing songs, carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, etc. However, even if you don’t have a haunted house or spooky music at your Halloween party, it can still be a scary time for many young children. People are wearing masks, some... Read more »

Halloween Topics – Parts of the Face

  Not only are jack-o’-lanterns perfect for practicing emotions, they are also great for introducing young learners to parts of the face. This is the Way We (Carve a Pumpkin) [audio:|titles=This is the Way We (Carve a Pumpkin) Song] This is the Way We (Carve a Pumpkin) from Super Simple Songs – Halloween, turns a... Read more »

school halloween party
Have a Super Simple Halloween Party

One way your school can celebrate Halloween is by having a Halloween Party. This is a great activity that can build a lot of excitement for the kids. Invite them to dress in costume and get together for a couple of hours of Halloween games, activities, songs, crafts and trick or treating. You can have... Read more »

Devon singing the bath song
Happy Anniversary!

So what are we celebrating? This week marks the 5th anniversary of our first YouTube video! Did you guess correctly? On September 8, 2006, we uploaded a video of Teaching Tips for “The Bath Song”, that features Devon, Tanja, and Jeremy-sensei demonstrating how to wash your hair, feet, knees and nose among other body parts.... Read more »

Dad Helping Child with Schoolwork
Songs for Homeschooling

Whether at home or in a classroom, the right songs make learning fun. Best of all, songs stay with young learners long after their “lessons” are over. Please check out the review of Super Simple Songs in the latest issue of The Old Schoolhouse – The Magazine for Homeschool Families. My granddaughter loves these songs,... Read more »

Mother and child playing guitar
Beatlemania for the Babes

Did you sing any Beatles songs when you were a kid? National Public Radio recently did a report on why toddlers like the Beatles so much. (Funniest line: “Beatlemania returns to America this week.” What? It left?) According to Dr. Deforia Lane, The Beatles have repetition, predictability and rhythm. And in certain cases, it literally... Read more »

Kids in the schoolyard

Your 5th and 6th graders are going to love this. There’s some exciting unpredictability, there’s some strategic planning, and there’s a whole bunch of laughter. Devon and I recently presented this activity as part of a workshop at PEN (Primary English Teachers of Niigata), and my 5th and 6th graders have decided this is their... Read more »

Top 10 Picture Books for Kindergarten EFL

Here are our top 10 picture books for kindergarten EFL classrooms: 10. Good Night, Gorilla 9. Ten Apples Up On Top! 8. Five Little Monkeys 7. Blue Hat, Green Hat 6. Go Away, Big Green Monster 5. No, David! 4. Ten Little Ladybugs 3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar 2. Where’s Spot? 1. Brown Bear Brown Bear What... Read more »

magic marbles
Magic Marble Bottles

For a simple counting and color recognition activity, fill a clear plastic bottle with water, add some marbles, then some glitter and/or any other small shiny objects you can find. Repeat with a few different bottles. using a different color and a different number of marbles. Place the bottles in slots in a box labelled with corresponding numbers... Read more »

Peekaboo with Dad
Head, shoulders, knees, …and peanut butter?

I sometimes do this thing at the end of my classes with 3 year-olds where I pretend to pop a piece of bubble gum in my mouth, start chewing away, blow a huge bubble, and then it pops all over my face.  I pretend to pick it all off my face and start chewing it again. ... Read more »

Teacher in the Classroom
Mixing Things Up

Many classes, ESL or otherwise, have some set songs that are done in every class.  Hello, Goodbye, etc. Here are some suggestions for simple changes to make them fresh and fun again. If you have been teaching children for a while, you’ve probably got most of these figured out already.  If you are new to... Read more »

kids in the classroom
Opportunity knocks

Teaching can be incredibly rewarding, and sometimes very tiring.  It’s important every once in a while to remind yourself why you do what you do.  For me, it can be summed up by a passage from Michael Lewis’s excellent book, The Lexical Approach. “…language is important and … language teaching is useful and valuable.  A... Read more »

Creating a warm classroom for young learners

We frequently get asked about setting up classrooms for young learners.  I’d like to share some photos from Brit’s English in Okayama, Japan.  When owner Jamie Marden decided to build a new school, he set aside one classroom to be his “Super Simple Songs” room (thanks Jamie!) for children 2-6 years old. Notice how uncluttered... Read more »

ASL Learning
ASL Songs

We had a great time presenting at the Tokyo English Language Book Fair a couple of weeks ago.  We were very happy to have our display right across from a display for “Signing Time“, an amazing resource for teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to young learners. By the end of the weekend, Troy and Tanja... Read more »

Who Took the Cookie Game cards!

These cards allow you to play “Who Took the Cookie?” with as few as two people or as many as you have in your class. Also, when you play with these cards, nobody knows who has the cookie…even the student who has it! (When you play the regular version of “Who Took the Cookie?” younger... Read more »