Crafts: Homemade Tap Shoes
Help your toe-tapping kid create a makeshift pair of tap shoes!
- An old pair of shoes:Sneakers, loafers, saddle shoes. Anything that fits securely on the foot (but no flip-flops).
- Fred or Ginger:Your tap dancing kid!
- Six flattened bottle caps:Go ahead, let Dad down a six-pack with his buddies. It's for the kid's sake!
- Adhesive putty:Pick some up at your local craft store. We love Elmer's® Tack Adhesive Putty.
- Dance floor:A sidewalk or driveway is best. Don't want to scuff up your linoleum!
- Hammer:If I had a hammer ... I'd make tap shoes for my kid.
- Music:Some toe-tapping tunes.
- Have your kid select an old pair of shoes to be reincarnated as tap shoes.
- Help her flatten six bottle caps by banging them flat with a hammer. Place the bottle caps face down on a flat surface, like the sidewalk (not the dining room table!), and pound away.
- Then have her attach a bottle caps to the bottom of her shoes with the adhesive putty. Get her to put one on the flat of each heel, one on the ball of each foot and one on the tip of each toe.
- When the shoes are finished, have your Little Ginger Roger's work up a tap routine! Here are some basic tap moves.
- Walk or Step. A normal "walking" step. Even if she can't pick up any other choreography, your kid will definitely master this move!
- Step-Heel. A step where the ball of the foot comes down first followed by the heel. The resulting step makes a two-part tap/tap sound.
- Heel-Step. See above. Now reverse it.
- Stamp. Your kid's been practicing this one for years. It usually precedes a temper tantrum!
- Ball-Change. Two quick steps with the same foot—one backwards and then one forwards.
- Brush. Have your little one swing her foot forwards and/or backwards sweeping the ball of the foot on the floor.
- Hop. Jumping and landing on one foot.
- Spring. Like a hop, but your kid must land on the opposite foot she jumped off of.
- Shuffle. Have your kid move her foot quickly back and forth in front of her. The shuffle is usually done in time to the beat.
- Tap dancing is typically performed with a wide, cheesy grin. So tell your kid to plaster on her best "Shirley Temple smirk" and get out there for a little shuffle step-heel hop step step stamp!
- Need more beginning dance lessons? Let Nick Jr. help you Teach Your Kids to Dance in Four Easy Steps!
- If your kid is aiming to be The Tap Dance Kid, invest in an instructional DVD like
Tot Tap from renowned children's tap teacher Rosemary Boross.