One of the more difficult jobs of a dance teacher is thinking up new ideas and short stories for kids for a ballet class. Sometimes the creative juices just don’t want to flow freely, and thinking up pre-ballet class ideas and short stories for young kids for your beginners can become a nightmare, especially when you are not feeling too inspired.
Here in this post, I would like to give you some ideas for short stories for kids, starting with this one. I call this class ‘The Magic Island.’ For my littlies, I like to present my classes in story format as it just makes the class more interesting and fun for them. It is a far better way of teaching the ballet basics than making them plie and rise all lesson.
If parents want to have some fun and bonding time with their kids, they will enjoy acting this story out with you.
The Magic Island Short Stories For Kids Lesson Plan
This is a class I adapt according to ability so you can also use it for younger children, but most of it works for children from the ages of three to five years old.
My warm up for this class would be putting on our suntan lotion and patting it onto our body. By patting the various body parts vigorously, the muscles are woken up and warmed at the same time.
I then tell the children to sit with their legs bent in front of them with feet together and flat on the floor, like they are sitting in a canoe. I tell them that they are going to row to the magic island. We hold the oars in both hands and twist the body side to side. When our arms get ‘tired of rowing’ I let them shake out their arms, then legs, then both together before carrying on with the rowing. In this way, they are warming up their bodies in a gentle way before they start to dance. Try to get them to ‘glue’ their knees together throughout. Most of them find this very difficult.
Next for fun, we imagine the sharks are chasing us, so we see who can row the fastest while keeping their legs and feet glued together. This really works the waist and inner thighs.
We row so fast that we crash into some rocks, so now we have to swim. They stand up in the boat, hold their noses, and jump overboard.
While swimming on tippy-toes, we can imitate various arm movements used during swimming, for instance, breaststroke, freestyle, or doggy paddle. We can even swim backward with the older kids.
Once we get to the beach, the sand is really really hot, so we need to jump from foot to foot. This is the basis for pony trots.
We then find ourselves a rock pool to dip our feet into. Here we can do either point and close, or point and lift foot sharply out of the water (so the fish don’t bite our toes) and balance with the foot placed on the side of the knee.
From here we start our island adventure unfolds in various different ways, depending on the class and age group that you are teaching. I have music on my iPod for all eventualities.
Some ideas you could follow through on are as follows:
- Blowing up our beach balls and bouncing them (jumps). I like to stand and bouce them with my hands to get the feeling of continuity.
- Swimming like starfish by lying on the floor on our backs and moving our arms and legs in and out sideways simultaneously like an angel, then kicking our legs and moving our arms fast in the air as we swim quickly away from the sharks.
- Walking like crabs sideways with legs in a demi plie in seconde. The children love to make cheeky crab faces here and show the pinchers.
- Swimming with the fish or dolphins jumping over the waves.
- Walking like penguins with duck feet (feet in 1st). We also eat fish and try to run like penguins. Small steps here with turned out feet as a penguin has very short legs.
- Flying like seagulls, which is very similar to flying like fairies.
- Picking up magic seashells with special fingers (thumb and middle finger).
- Mermaids. The children love this one. We can do anything on the floor, but we have to keep our legs and feet glued together.
- Mermaids riding on sea horses. Here you can introduce pony gallops.
At the end of the adventure, we normally catch a ride back home on Puff the Magic Dragon’s back, or on a sea horse. On the dragon we swoop through the sky and blow fire out through our noses and on the sea horse we pony gallop over the waves.
At the end of our lesson we normally have a stretch before falling asleep in our bed after an exhausting day at The Magic Island.
I hope you enjoyed reading another lesson plan in my short stories for kids series.
Here are some excellent music resources you can try if you need to put some music together. Some of these recommendations contain affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you decide to purchase anything, at no extra cost to you.
Becca Retter on Apple Music has a tune called Undersea Adventure on her album Dance Adventure Volume 1 which the children love.
These can be seen by clicking on the picture that interests you.