Tag Archives: magic

Creative Ballet Shoe Ideas

Who loves being creative? Well this week we thought it would be fun to be creative with ballet shoes. Children love using ballet and dance to transport them into a different place and one really fun way of encouraging young children to love putting on their ballet shoes is to decorate them.

Pipe cleaners are a really easy way to get started and can add a bit of colour and sparkle. Twirl and twist them into shapes:

Creative Decorated Children's Ballet Shoes - pipecleaner flower decorations

Creative Decorated Ballet Shoes - pipecleaner twirls

Another simple idea is to attach a flower to each ballet slipper: dried or fresh both work well.

Creative Decorated Children's Ballet Shoes - dried flower decorations

Creative Decorated Ballet Shoes - Flower Decorations

Have any scraps of tulle laying about? How about a tulle rose or ribbons. If you don’t have any, scraps of any material would work well:

Creative Decorated Ballet Shoes  - tulle roses

Decorates Creative Ballet Shoes - tulle ribbon

You could do this activity with your child or give them some materials and leave them to it. Here’s the results of one of our Twinkle fans, aged 4:

Creative Decorated Children's Ballet Shoes - heart decorated

Now it’s time to enjoy some dancing and dressing up. Put on some music and have fun!

Do post any creative ballet shoe ideas you’ve tried to us at info@twinklesteps.com or post your photos on our Facebook page. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Psssst, watch for our very special sparkly ballet slippers coming soon in our shop.

Happy dancing and decorating, from the Twinkle Team.

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Imagination Dance Mat

What can you do to have fun at home on a rainy weekend? Whilst we’re big fans of dancing in the rain, sometimes you just want to wrap up, stay indoors and keep cosy. If you want to keep your kids active (and maybe even practising their ballet) and get the creative cogs a whirling, you need to create the outdoors indoors! Children love this..

Get out a large piece of paper (wall paper offcuts, old wrapping paper or a few pieces of paper stuck together) and suggest to to your child that they make up their own world to dance in. From there on in let your child’s imagination take over and, if you want to have some fun, join in too. You could either just use crayons or colouring pens or find some coloured paper to cut out and stick on.

We had fun with one of our Twinkle fans making ‘Strangeland’ complete with a river to paddle in and flowers to pick. It doesn’t take more than a sprinkling of imagination to make it come to life:
dance mat magic

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to dance! Take off your shoes and socks or put on your ballet shoes and explore your new world. Dip your feet in the river, ‘pick’ flowers, dance over the rainbow and wave some magic with your wand. How about putting on some music? Careful you don’t trip, we stuck our paper down with tape so it didn’t move about.

Dancing on the imagination dance mat

It’s easy to create an inspiring space to dance in and a fun way to spend a rainy morning. Have you made up your own dance space? Let us know in the comments below. If you want any accessories to make the magic complete, visit our shop for ideas.

A Twinklesteps adventure, brought to you by the Twinkle Team. Happy dancing 🙂

Ballet Shows for Young Children

It’s so important to inspire young children to dance at a young age which is why it’s fantastic news that there are some wonderful ballet shows aimed at younger children about at the moment. With productions which are shorter in length, use music with strong melodies, fun choreography,  simple narratives and characters children will love, you have all the ingredients for a great children’s ballet show to inspire the next generation of dancers.

After the success of their first ballet show aimed specifically at young children (The Ugly Duckling), Northern Ballet launched the ‘Three Little Pigs‘ last year. This year you still have the opportunity to catch it in Bradford (27th March) or Southampton (30th May). Check out this trailer and you won’t be able to resist!

English National Ballet have a beautiful looking show launching in April. My First Ballet: Coppélia tells the tale of an eccentric toymaker and his mechanical doll in a beautifully adapted version for young audiences. Read more about it here and check out the tour dates on our what’s on page.

English National Ballet: Coppelia

English National Ballet: Coppelia

We try to keep our blog updated with ballet shows aimed at (or suitable for) younger children, so bookmark our what’s on page and let us know about any children’s ballet shows or events coming up near you. Follow our blog to keep up to date with children’s ballet shows, ballet and dance ideas, ballet gifts and products, ballet crafts and tips, news, magical play ideas and inspiring ballet and dance themed stories. Our magical ballet play shoes launch soon so watch this space!

Keep on your toes and learn how to do the ‘Duckling Dance‘ on the Cbeebies channel. Have fun, from the Twinkle Team 🙂

Kick off Your Shoes and Dance

HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone. It’s the time of year to feel optimistic and ready for new challenges and adventures. With that in mind we thought we’d share with you the perfect New Years Resolutions for parents and their young children to enjoy together. We love, love LOVE ballet but whether your kids love ballet and dancing like Twinklesteps or are mad about something entirely different, these ideas will put a spring in your step.

Giselle

Kick of your shoes and dance!

There’s no better way to create some enjoyable moments together and happy memories than doing dancing or exercise together. There are lots of dance classes for children and dance classes for big people but not so much out there for you to enjoy together. If making up your own routine together is too daunting, we love this video by Scottish Ballet. Aimed at children aged 3-6 years this exercise routine is a gentle introduction to ballet and yoga moves. Tried and tested by one of our Twinkle fans it has our seal of approval and we recommend trying this together with your child if you want 15 minutes of pure pleasure: grab the moon, sprinkle fairy dust and enjoy being a tree blowing in the wind.

Grab a notepad and paper and get writing

Try writing a poem or story together. You could even act it out. Make up some costumes and props and you have a rainy afternoon sorted. Here’s a poem we wrote for National Poetry Day to inspire you: Dancing in the Rain. Why not try your own weather poem to get you started – it’s easy to act out sunshine, rain, wind and snow with movement and actions. If you or your child know any basic ballet steps, incorporate them into the story – point your toes!

Make the Ordinary Extraordinary

When is a stone not a stone? When you draw a picture on it and make it into a canvas. When is a skipping rope not a skipping rope? When you lay it down and balance on it like a tightrope walker. When is a rose not a rose? When it’s being transformed into magical fairy perfume:

Mix the fairy perfume

Mix the fairy perfume

What everyday things can you make extraordinary?

Let this year be the year of the book

There’s a storm brewing outside, the wind is battering the branches of the trees and howling like the Growling Goblin and rain is hammering on the windows. It’s the perfect time to curl up with your child, choose a book and let the magical world of words whisk you away on an adventure. We love books which inspire children to dance, which is why we wrote ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong‘. Learn about ballet and find out what the Growling Goblin has stolen in our ballet adventure about Twinklesteps and her magic ballet shoes.

Twinklesteps & the Disappearing Birdsong

Twinklesteps & the Disappearing Birdsong

What books inspire you to dance, practice your ballet, or make life more magical? Let us know in the comments below.

Have a magical year full of ballet, dancing and creativity. Oh, and LOTS of fun 🙂

From The Twinkle Team.

What are Tutus Made of?

What are Tutus made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice…

Sparkly Tutu Skirt and wand

Sparkly Tutu Skirt

Well they’re normally made from layers of tulle which is a fine, light-weight netting and the magic comes from the wearer. Not only are tutus beautiful, but the movement of the light layers of tulle show off the ballet dancer’s intricate footwork and exaggerate their graceful storytelling. This short video is a great intro on the different styles of tutu and well worth a watch:

When it comes to young children, tutus certainly have the power to transform the wearer into a magical world. It’s great fun to watch the transformation in a child when they put on their tutu: they immediately turn into a little ballet dancer doing lots of turns, little runs on their tip toes and big leaps. Fascinated by seeing how the skirt moves when they turn and seeing the beautiful, fairy-like fabric, is a great motivator in encouraging them to dance and be creative. Find out more about our own beautiful sparkly tutu skirts here and watch our video showing some simple exercises and creative movement your child can copy: CLICK HERE

The Fairy Dance

The Fairy Dance

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post from the Twinkle Team and do let us know your thoughts in the comments box below 🙂

Top Christmas pressies for children who love ballet

YIPPEE, Christmas is just around the corner and we’re very excited here in Twinklesteps Land! Inspired by the amount of lovely ballet themed goodies there are out there we thought we’d write you a top ten list of Christmas Presents for children who love ballet, dancing and magical make believe. Some are our own beloved Twinklesteps products and some are things we adore and can’t resist sharing.

1) This very pretty, sparkly ballet skirt, with hundreds of little holograms that sparkle when they catch the light, is a magical must-have!

Sparkly Skirt and wand

Sparkly Skirt and wand

2) This musical box by Enchantmints is gorgeous with loads of compartments for all your treasures.

Enchantmints Ballet School Music Box

Enchantmints Ballet School Music Box

3) This is super cute. A ballerina drinks bottle which is beautifully illustrated and teaches you dance moves. For sale at Dance Wear Central.

Tyrrell Katz Ballet Drinking Bottle

Tyrrell Katz Ballet Drinking Bottle

4) This is a present to treasure. A wooden musical box with figures dancing to Swan Lake. Just gorgeous.

Ballet Theatre Music Box

Ballet Theatre Music Box

5) A perfect size for a santa sack or chunky Christmas stocking, ‘Twinklesteps and the Disappearing Birdsong’ is our recommended Christmas read to get the magic swirling during the festive season. Find out about our very special introductory offer here.

Twinklesteps birdsong ballet book

Twinklesteps birdsong ballet book

6) Another lovely gift from Dancewear Central is this pretty ballet charm bracelet:

Child's charm bracelet

Child’s charm bracelet

7) This is a lovely idea. Get creative with this ballerina doll kit available at Artifolk.

Easy-to-do Doll Making Kit - Ballerina

Easy-to-do Doll Making Kit – Ballerina

8) Hours of fun with this ballerina dress up puzzle by Melissa and Doug, available from Mulberry Bush.

Ballerina Dress Up Peg Puzzle

Ballerina Dress Up Peg Puzzle

9) Beautiful ballerina skipping rope from Makes a Change which will keep your child on their toes! What’s more it’s fair-trade too. Brilliant!

Ballet Dancer Skipping Rope

Ballet Dancer Skipping Rope

10) No Christmas stocking would be complete without a little bottle of fairy dust. Let the magic begin…and for £1.50 you can’t go wrong! Comes with a lovely little note from Twinklesteps, the fairy ballerina 🙂 Find out more here.

Fairy Dust

Fairy Dust

11) Finally, we’re adding a cheeky number 11 which is a link to ideas from Zazzle which would appeal to boys as well as girls. Featuring ideas like this Nutcracker keyring we hope you’ll find something for every ballet mad child 🙂

Nutcracker Keyring

Nutcracker Keyring

For more ballet inspired Christmas goodies and ideas see our Pinterest board ‘Ballet Inspired Christmas‘.

Merry Christmas from the Twinkle Team.

Nutcracker Season – the magic begins

As winter draws in and the nights get darker and darker, clouds of midwinter magic start to swirl, coaxing us out to play. There’s no surer way to sleigh ride you into a festive mood than by going to see ballets most famous winter offering: The Nutcracker.

For those not familiar with the story here’s a super brief version. It’s Christmas Eve and Clara’s Godfather Drosselmeyer brings Clara a beautiful wooden Nutcracker. She falls asleep with it in her arms and wakes up at midnight to a frightening scene. The toys have come to life and Clara’s Nutcracker is leading the soldier toys into battle against the Mouse Army. As the Nutcracker is cornered Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King and helps defeat him. The Nutcracker turns into a handsome prince and he leads Clara through the moonlit night as snowflakes dance around them. They continue their journey to the Land of Sweets and meet the Sugar Plum Fairy who has been ruling the Land until the Prince’s return. In their honour a celebration of sweets from around the world is held with dancing and festivities. It ends with the famous Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Clara wakes up the next day with the Nutcracker still in her arms. Was it a dream…

Here’s an enchanting version of the Waltz of the Snowflakes by Royal Ballet with a beautifully graceful Clara:

There are some fun craft activities around to get your kids bubbling over with excitement about The Nutcracker. We like these colouring in characters from Pacific NorthWest Ballet and here’s some printable puppets too. We also have adorable Twinklesteps imagining she’s Clara for you to colour in here. If only she could imagine her bunny into a prince…

Don’t forget we have listings for performances of The Nutcracker shown on our Children’s Ballet Events page here. Let us know if you hear of any we need to add. Also, check out our shop for ballet goodies to get your ballerina’s imagination whirring.

Finally, here’s a lovely little clip from Pacific NorthWest Ballet showing young dancers auditioning for The Nutcracker. Worth a look for any budding ballet dancers out there wondering what an audition may be like:

We’d love to know what you think of The Nutcracker and which bits you like best. Let us know by commenting below 🙂

By the Twinkle Team