Friday, May 30, 2014

Tangle-Free Ribbon Wands

Are you looking to purchase some ribbon wands or do your ribbon wands keep getting tangled? You need to read this!
Eight years ago, I completed my first level of Orff Schulwerk training and devoted a big portion of my classroom budget for creative movement props. One of my biggest regrets, until now, was purchasing a class set of ribbon sticks from Oriental Trading. A very similar product is still found on  They come in sets of 6 and are currently $8.

I had immediate buyer's remorse when I discovered how easily they would tangle. These ribbon sticks do not allow for the ribbon to swivel 360 degrees and therefore the ribbon tangles very easily. Also, once the ribbon is tangled, kids start yanking on it and cause the rubber end cap to come off. For years, they have been stored in the cabinets without being used.

This year, I pulled them out of the closet again after finding the "Chinese Ribbon Dance" lesson in Artie Almedia's Mallet Madness. I was determined to find a solution and put these props to use. 
 I searched online and found the Tikkido blog which suggested using swivels that are used for fishing lures. I had actually purchased a small package of swivels and had planned on investing in some new dowel rods. Since I had not purchased the dowels, I had not repaired them yet.
But, this week, two third graders showed ingenuity and solved my problem without the purchase of extra hardware!

My ribbons were connected to the stick with an eye hook and a metal clip. They discovered that if you remove the eye hook and rubber end cap, you can slide the biggest side of the metal clip around the stick. Then, simply replace the black end cap. The end caps may need a drop or two of glue to ensure they won't come off. My students are begging to come back to glue the end caps on another day! I was going to try super glue or a hot glue gun. But, if I let students repair it, I may use a safer adhesive.  Yes, the metal clip will slide up and down the stick. But, when you are using the ribbon your arm is continuously moving, so it does not slide around until you stop.

When these two showed me their discovery, I was elated!!! They repaired all 30 of my ribbon wands for FREE! (Although, I do plan on buying them some M&M's) 

 I have one last picture to show you how I store my ribbon wands. This is similar to my Boomwhacker storage, if you have seen that post. I separate each color in a smaller box which fit inside a bigger box.

The skinny boxes were actually very long boxes I kept when I purchased some wooden decorative shelves for my home. I had 3 boxes and simply cut them in half down the middle. I'm sure you can find similar sized boxes if you look or ask around. I am very conscious of our planet and try to reuse or repurpose things whenever possible!

I am so excited about the ribbon wands. This summer I plan on going through my Orff Level binders and searching the web for ideas to use them in lessons. If you have any suggestions, please comment below. I will leave you with one last picture of my problem-solving duo, Hunter and Leah, demonstrating the tangle-free ribbon wands!!!

It's a Linky Party!

July 25, 2015

Saturday, May 17, 2014

National Boards Update

I have submitted my portfolio retakes! I have one more computer assessment in a couple weeks, and then will begin the long wait for scores ... 
In the mean time, you can look forward to seeing more frequent posts!