How to make your own Tap Shoes

I have had the idea for making some handmade tap shoes bouncing around my head for awhile. Like so many ideas, sometimes it takes me awhile to get around to making and enjoying the {Little Project} with my kiddos.   Since we are away from home (and our tap shoes) this summer we've been playing in our homemade tap shoes.

You may be wondering, "What can you do better with tap shoes on? Why make them?"

I'll share some of the fun things that we do in ours. First, let me say that learning to understand where the beat of the music is in one of the great treats in life. The younger your kids are, the easier it is to teach them. Start with babies bouncing on your knee to the music. I taught and competed percussive dance (tap, clogging, Irish step) for 13 years and I'm telling you...if someone waits too long to learn to hear the beat of the music it is almost impossible to teach them  to "hear" it.   So that is one great reason for making and playing in these {Little Project Tap Shoes} but you will find more as you read on! 

Below you will find instructions for how to make your own {Little Project Tap Shoes} as well as some fun ways to utilize them for more than just learning good rhythm.  We are lovin' all this tapping fun. I think you will too!

Here are some perks of your {Little Project Tap Shoes}
they are one-size-fits-all
the kids aren't going to grow out of them
the cost is about $1 for each pair of {Little Project Tap Shoes}
They give you a chance to work on your balance
Boys AND Girls love them (what boy doesn't love making noise?)
they are tons of FUN to dance and walk around in (especially with music on!)

Now the how-to-make the {Little Project Tap Shoes}, and then some ideas of how to use those tapping toes to teach more than just good rhythm.
4 metal washers for each set of shoes.  I got mine at the hardware store for 22 cents each :)
a good length of yarn, string, or elastic to tie them on with.

{Little Project Tip:}  Different sized washers will make a different tones.  To add an extra listening element to your project and listen for a variety of sounds, you may want to choose a variety of washer sizes for your {Little Project Tap Shoes}.

1- Thread the string/elastic through the middle of the washer
2- Now take the end on the left and thread it back through again.
It should look like this:

3- Now take the end on the right and thread it under the washer and back through again also.  It should look like this when you are done:
4- Repeat for each "tap."
5- Then tie your taps to your shoe like this:
That was easy!  Now go stomp around and try them out :)

Here are some ideas for utilizing your {Little Project Tap Shoes:}
Practice counting with each jump. (by 5's, 10's, etc.)
Practice spelling words out loud with each step.  You could even draw letters with sidewalk chalk and walk on them as you go.
Enjoy the SOUNDS you can make.
Make fast sounds...and s l o w sounds.
Make LOUD sounds and quiet sounds.
Practice standing or hoping on one foot.
Work on which foot is Right and which is Left.
"hear" if you are tapping your toes to the beat-a great way to practice this life-altering skill!
Turn on the MUSIC and DANCE to it!

Whether you are wearing real tap shoes or these {Little Project Tap Shoes} they can be slippery! When you are on a very smooth surface-be careful-don't run-and watch your balance.  You can also go with just one tap-see above-instead of two to cut down on the slipperiness.  Also, if your kids walk on your hardwood floors there is always the chance of a scratch.  We've had good luck on vinyl or the driveway though :)

Get a mirror out to have even more fun (or keep it hidden if you are worried about what you will look like) the idea is to enjoy yourself!  I'd love to hear YOUR ideas you have for learning with tap shoes on and I'd love to know how yours turn out.  Have fun tappin'!


Amy said...

LOVE IT!!! Oh my goodness that is so smart. My kids are going to love this idea!

Clemencia said...

Fantastic! Adoreable! very Creative! :) Thanks

Annette W. said...

Yep, I am one who cannot hear the beat unless it is a big BOOM BOOM BOOM beat. I can't dance...can't sing. I love this idea.

Would you please let me know your thoughts on if these damage floors? We have vinyl and hardwood. Thanks!

derekannette at gmail dot com

World Wide Alternative said...

You just saved Christmas! XXxx.

Rachel R. said...

Thank you for all the ideas for use!

My daughters have tap shoes (from the thrift store), but no classes. This will give them more to do besides "just" dance.

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