Do you remember obsessively collecting Beanie Babies? I remember; some Beanie Babies were more valuable, cutting the tag was a huge no-no, and you displayed your most valuable ones in the plastic display cases. Well, the fad passed, and I had tubs of unused, untouched Beanie Babies. When I opened the studio, I realized I could easily use my leftover Beanie Babies as a prop in the dance studio classroom.
Here are some great uses for our plastic-pellet filled friends:
- As a prop in bean bag skills songs
- As the “obstacle” to leap over in teaching and practicing Grand Jete
- As spot holders in younger classes (work best for ages 2-3; each dancer picks a Beanie Baby to place in front of his/her designated dance spot; the Beanie Baby “watches” the dancer perform)
- To squeeze between a dancer’s legs in bunny hop or snake slither in tumbling classes (emphasizes holding the legs together)
- To practice poise in ballet classes (e.g. ballerina walks across the floor with the bean bag on the head)
Some of my favorite bean bag skill songs include:
- Teddy Bear Toss by Hap Palmer
- Bean Bag Alphabet Rag by Hap Palmer
- The Bean Bag Dance by Greg & Steve
Dancers love the colorful animals, and each week, they approach the activity with excitement because of the versatility in the animals and choices.
If you do not have a leftover collection of Beanie Babies, you can purchase lots of them online (e.g. via ebay) for a very reasonable price. Once you have your collection ready to go, trim the tags, and look forward to the smiles and excitement on your dancers’ faces!