For Your Littlest Dancer
Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for a child in your life who loves to dance, wiggle, or move? Our taster session will give them the gift of dance!
With the holiday season creeping up on us, often so does the stress—and no more so than this year. We know a lot of parents have been feeling extra pressure to make holidays special for their kids in a year that’s been so out of the ordinary, so we’re here to help! Check out the blog every Saturday until the end of December for holiday gift guides for your Irish dancer—from stocking stuffers and accessories to prints and ideas for Mom and Dad—we’ll post a little something for everyone. Though you’ll find some bigger business links throughout, we’ve tried our best to promote small businesses in the Irish dance community wherever possible and we hope you’ll join us in that goal! First up, some fun ideas for our littlest dancers:
1. Picture Books
While a lot of Irish dance related books feature a female Irish dancer in traditional competition dress (which is fun, too! see more picture book suggestions below…) this book, written by Anna Marlis Bergard and illustrated by Leighanne Dees, is a rare children’s book about male Irish dancers. Set in old Ireland, Flying Feet: A Story of Irish Dance tells the story of two competing Dance Masters (learn more about them in our Origins of Irish Dance series here!) in the town of Ballyconneely. (It’s even reportedly based on a true event.)
Irish Dancer: Oireachtas
Kathleen O’Byrne: Irish Dancer
Irish Dancing Girl
(P.S. If none of these books are your style, check out our other Irish children's book recommendations here.)
2. Stuffed Animals
Get your Tiny Jig or Pre-Beginner dancer something new to bring into class with them! While the bear featured in the picture has a competition dress on, this toy maker, Paddy Pals, has a wide variety of Irish bears, each with their own occupation and story. Check out their website—you won’t be disappointed in the care they put into each bear! (Or look below for a few more bear and non-bear options.)
Personalized, Various Animals
Stuffed Dancer Doll
3. Dolls and Doll Clothes
For your dancer with her eye on the prize, this Etsy seller has created a mini-version of a competition dress (advertised for American Girl dolls, but it should fit any 18 inch doll!) While they may not be able to compete just yet, setting goals and achieving them is one of the biggest benefits of starting your littlest in dance classes early. Help your dancer visualize their goal through play!
A Male and Female Pair!
Another Option with Ghillies
Irish Dancer Nutcracker
4. Coloring and Activity Books
Sometimes, it’s hard to get your kids to practice. There’s nothing that will help that more than getting them excited about dancing, and activity books like these are the perfect way to have them thinking about dance even when they’re sitting still! And, not to mention, coloring has been proven to help improve motor skills, improve concentration, and develop a rich creative life—it’s a lot like dance that way.
Irish Dancer Activity Book
Irish Dance Coloring Book
Another Coloring Book
This one may seem out of left field, but I loved receiving stationery as a kid: it makes you feel grown up (especially if they’re personalized like these!) There are some benefits (outside of the excitement over the new gel pens I’d recommend as an addition) too: learning about our mail system, practicing writing, and teaching manners. Who knows—maybe you can even get grandma or one of your dancer’s cousins to write back and start a pen-pal relationship! Who doesn’t love getting real mail?
Personalized Male Irish Dancer Cards
Irish Dancers Rock Cards
Irish Dancer Cards
6. Dance Bag
This personalized, sequined dance bag is the perfect present to make each dance class feel special. Our smallest dancers don’t have a need for a larger, studio duffel just yet, just somewhere to put their water bottle and teddy—these drawstring backpacks are the perfect size! And for our less glitzy dancers, check out some non-sequined options below:
Dancing Girl Tote
Plain Cinch Backpack
This is Volume I of a series, come back next Saturday for the next installment! And check out the blog every Monday and Thursday for more posts about Irish history, dance culture, community news, and spotlights on our dancers, staff, and families—among other fun projects! And don’t forget to dance along with us on both Facebook and Instagram.
Find all of our latest news on our Scoil Rince Luimni Facebook page!