Props can be a great way to peak student interest in a classroom activity or add a polished touch for a performance. If you are purchasing props for an entire class or grade level, it can become expensive. It is sometimes difficult to find an inexpensive prop that is also durable and can withstand the nervous hands of a student awaiting show time.
Recently, my Orff Ensemble performed the Korean folk song "Arirang", which included a fan dance. These fans were only $1 each from the Dollar Store. They are made of plastic and fabric and come in a variety of colors. I purchased them from the store in December, but they are currently out of season for their brick and mortar stores. They are still available online but you must purchase a minimum of 24. Follow this link to the Dollar Tree online store.
During rehearsals, we had no trouble with these fans. While waiting to perform, two students accidently broke their fans. I'm so glad I had extra! After the performance, I tried to find a way to repair the broken fans instead of throwing them away. I am very pleased with the results. Actually, I think the repaired fans are going to be more durable than the originals. Follow this simple tutorial to save your broken fans!
Broken Fan Tutorial
To repair your fan, you will need a large paperclip and some needle nose pliers.
Step 1: Straighten the inside of your paperclip, pulling it open to form a 90 degree angle.
Step 2: Insert the straightened clip through the end of the fan.
Step 3: Using needle nose pliers, form two more 90 degree angles so that your paperclip forms a box around the end of the fan.
Step 4: With pliers, coil one end of the paperclip around the other.
Step 5: With pliers, continue coiling and then snap off any excess paperclip by bending the piece back and forth repeatedly.
Step 6: With pliers, bend the coil down and make sure there are no sharp ends that would scratch your hand while holding the fan.
I hope you find this post helpful! I originally purchased 12 fans, I will definitely be ordering some more to have a complete class set. If you have any lesson ideas that use fans, please add them in the comments below!