Homemade Ribbon Wands
This time of year I love to use the ribbon wand activity to teach the Trepak from the Nutracker and reinforce form. Her lesson is great and provides different actions and steps to identify the ABA form of the song. You learn the form and dance to the song and it leaves your kids with the biggest smiles on their face. The lesson can be short or extended into a longer form and kids always love ribbon wands. It’s a win win win lesson. Grab the book and check it out. Here’s a link to it’s listing on Amazon.
These ribbon wands were a blast to make. I got the long colored ribbon from Target when it went on sale after Christmas last year. Something like 50-60 yards for a few bucks. Amazing! I got it in three colors and called it good. Then I took the cleaning rods out of the recorder cases before I gave recorders to students. In my school we rarely use cleaning rods for recorders, they get in the way in the cases, and students lose them anyway. I tied the ribbons to the end of the unused cleaning rods and immediately got free ribbon wands. They look great and they’re the perfect size for the kids.
Disclaimer: the ends of my ribbon wands kept fraying as kids used them. So I took a piece of scotch tape and taped it near the end of the ribbon. Then the fray would go only so far and stop. The fraying doesn’t look too bad and now any time I get out the wands I can have a discussion about “if you whip the wand really hard it rips the end of the ribbon. You have to use them gently. No whipping and ripping! We want these ribbon wands to last a long time!”
Homemade Jingle Bells
I went out to Hobby Lobby and bought a bag of bells (again, this time of year they’re not too expensive and you can look for jingle bells on the cheap after the holiday when things clearance out) and a ton of pipe cleaners. I strung the jingle bells on the pipe cleaners and then twisted it into a circle. Now kids can put them on like bracelets or hold them like handles. I’ve been thinking that I could incorporate this really easily into a program if I wanted because it wouldn’t be hard to make a large set for a big group. Still thinking through and keeping that as an option for a holiday program.
Let me know if these ideas work for you! If you modify what I did, let me know that too. I’m always looking for ways to make things better!