Candy Cane Prop

Just wanted to share a cute idea from my Kindergarten and 1st grade tap classes. I saw these lawn candy canes at Wal Mart and picked up a few for $1 each. They are the perfect size for pint-sized dancers to use as tap “canes” and fun for the holidays!

This year I had a hard time finding non-lighted ones, but Wal-Mart had some for 99 cents each. If you wait until after the holidays and find them even cheaper and keep them for next year.

It’s funny how creative kids are – within minutes of getting to use the candy canes, they had come up with 4 or 5 different ways of holding the cane I hadn’t even considered (including riding the cane like a horse, and putting two canes together to make a large heart).  One word of caution–these canes do look like candy so the first thing my kids started to do was pretend to lick the candy cane! I’m not sure younger students would be able to resist trying to lick the pretend candy… something to consider.

EDIT:  I left these in my car overnight and the cold temperatures made them brittle.  When I went to take them out of my car, a few of them shattered all over my trunk, leaving tiny bits of plastic.  I recommend keeping yours indoors or find a thicker, more pliable material.

MUSIC & CHOREOGRAPHY SUGGESTIONS
For my Kindegarten class (all first-year dancers), I used the Peppermint Stick Strut from Rosemary Boross’ “Land of Sweet Taps” CD. The song includes instructions such as “Tap tap tap tap, together, clap”, so we modified them to mean “tap (your cane and foot to side), step together and tap cane in front”.  The Kindegartners has trouble remembering which end of the cane to hold onto, so we didn’t reverse our steps, but kept the cane ‘crook’ in our right hand for the whole combination.  Their favorite part was walking around the cane.

Lighted candy cane from Boscovs.. too many wires!

For my 1st graders, I used “Sleigh Ride” by Amy Grant.  It is a bit faster, but you can go half-tempo for harder steps.  They were able to switch hands and enjoyed making different shapes with the canes and their formations.

Click here to view the age 6-8 combo I created*
Suggested song: “Sleigh Ride” by Amy Grant Sleigh Ride - A Christmas Album 

*If you read the combo, a quick note about the “giddy up” part… my 1st graders have been flying through our tap syllabus this year and absolutely love cramprolls.  They can do them at a high speed, so during the giddy up part they are able to perform 3 quick cramprolls.  You can modify it to be little ponyjumps (like a pas de chat but parallel or whatever jumping step your class enjoys).

FURTHER READING
Here are some links to prop suggestions:

What props have you used this or in past holiday seasons?

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2 thoughts on “Candy Cane Prop

  1. Haha – I kept getting stuck in doorways yesterday! Luckily, they're pretty light, so that's not a problem. I think I'm going to rubberband them together today so that they don't go all over. šŸ™‚

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