The Changing Faces of Valentine’s Day

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Although Valentine’s Day is always about showing people that you love them, the feelings associated with it seem to change over the years. When I was little, I used to love making cards for my family – the colours red and pink seemed to feature a lot, as did hearts and flowers. As I moved towards my teenage years, it became a day that I looked forward to and yet dreaded in equal measure. Would I get a card from a mystery boy, did I have a date for the evening, would I be the only one of my friends to have been forgotten? Then, once I met my husband it became a day to look forward to and celebrate, but as life gets busier with children (unless we make a real effort!), the day seems to evolve again and now it encompasses not just us, but it becomes a family celebration. This current version is my favourite of all!

Valentine’s Day is now celebrated with heart shaped cookies that are iced and covered in sprinkles, multiple cards being exchanged (I hope the newsagent understood why I bought multiple cards all swearing devotion and undying love!) and other heart shaped craft activities. I’d like to share a couple of really simple ones with you today.

Folded Heart Painting

  • Fold a piece of paper in half on the long side (minimum A4, larger if you have it)
  • Cut out half a heart shape, so that when you unfold it you have a heart.
  • Get your little one to paint on one side only, and then fold the other side over the top and press down.
  • When you open it you have a beautiful symmetrical painting.

Marble Heart Painting

  • Draw a picture of a heart on an A4 piece of paper
  • Place it in a high sided tray or box
  • Dip some marbles in paint and put them on your paper. Move the tray so the marbles go from side to side leaving a trail of paint.
  • When your little one has finished their masterpiece, leave it to dry and then cut out your heart shape that you drew earlier.

I hope you have fun! Come and post some pictures of your masterpieces on our Facebook Page  or tweet us

Find out more about Disco Duck on our website

 

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The Disco Duck Story Part 10

Continued…

Disco Duck was really scared now. He could hear the footsteps getting closer and his wing was still in the cupboard, reaching for those biscuits! He slowly dared to turn his head towards the kitchen door, hoping that he wouldn’t see human eyes staring back at him.

He could still hear those sneaky footsteps, and as he slowly, slowly pulled the Custard Creams out of the cupboard, the wrapper rustled. “SSShhhh” he thought. He’d got them! BUT…

…as Disco Duck turned around to make his way back outside to the pond…”OUCH!” He had bumped right into something…or someone! As he stumbled back up off of the floor, he found himself looking at his friend from the pond, Gordon Goose.

“Disco Duck, what ever are you doing in here?” asked Gordon, looking very surprised indeed. He was very confused to see Disco Duck.

“Gordon”, whispered Disco Duck, “you can’t tell anyone, but I was sooo so hungry, and I came in to get some biscuits”. Disco Duck smiled his cheeky, beaky smile.

“Oh, me too!” said Gordon. They both laughed at how very cheeky and sneaky they were.

“Don’t worry Gordon” said Disco Duck, we can share the Custard Creams with all of our friends at the pond. Sharing is so very important and it’s great to share with our friends.

“I agree!” shouted Gordon, so excited and happy to have such a nice friend. Gordon shouted a bit TOO loud though. Disco Duck and Gordon Goose heard Farmer Fred waking up upstairs, and slowly making his way down to the kitchen! OH NO!!

Very quickly, they made their way out of the door running as fast as they could, across the farmyard, back past the smelly pigs…

back past the sheep…

back past the cows…

And eventually arrived back safely at the pond at last.

SPLASH into the pond Disco Duck went! He shared the biscuits out to the rest of his friends and they were all so hungry that morning that they were very, very grateful.

Farmer Fred watched out of the farmhouse window. He laughed, shaking his head. He knew what Disco Duck was up to all along, but he didn’t really mind, because Disco Duck was so kind to share the biscuits with his friends! And off Farmer Fred went to start another day on the farm.

Disco Duck and Gordon Goose on their mission!

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The Disco Duck Story Part 9

It was a rainy day on the farm, as it was Autumn time in the Land of Disco Duck. The air was feeling chilly, the animals were feeling cold, and the pond water was absolutely freeeeezing!

Disco Duck awoke one morning feeling extremely hungry and extremely cold, and decided that he needed to find a way to warm up. Being the Disco Duck that he is, he knew that a bit of a dance and jumping around would help. So he stretched his wings to touch the sky, clapped them together, and turned around to touch the ground! He wiggled his hips back and forth, and shook his webbed feet one at a time to make sure his whooooole body was warm. Now he needed to find some food. It was very early in the morning, so Farmer Fred was still in bed, probably snoring really loudly as always.

Disco Duck had a very cheeky idea. He was going to sneak over to the farmhouse, into the kitchen, and into Mrs Fred’s special biscuit cupboard! He had to be very quiet, and should probably wear some kind of camouflage! Disco Duck knew that the kitchen was brown and wooden, so he put on his big brown coat and a brown hat. He looked at his reflection in the pond, and thought he would make a rather good secret agent!

So off he went, tiptoeing to the farmhouse, past the cows…

past the sheep…

past the smelly pigs…

And slowly, very slowly, he opened the back door, which led into the farmhouse kitchen.

CREEEEAAAK! went the door, very loudly. Disco Duck jumped backwards, shocked. Oh no! he thought. He closed his eyes and hoped that Farmer and Mrs Fred hadn’t woken up. He waited a few seconds and decided the coast was clear. He continued to sneak into the kitchen, past the big sleeping farm dog, who was dribbling everywhere – disgusting!

Finally, he got to the cupboard. The special biscuit cupboard.

Disco Duck’s stomach was rumbling so loud he thought it might wake the dog! So he reached out slowly, grabbed the door handle and opened the cupboard door. Just then, Disco Duck heard a huge BANG! and he jumped so much he thought his feathers might come off!

Who was that? What was that sound? Oh it was so dark in the kitchen, Disco Duck couldn’t see anything. If he could just reach into the cupboard and get those Custard Creams…

He heard footsteps. Were they human footsteps? He couldn’t tell…who could it possibly be?

To be continued…


Find out if Disco Duck managed to get the biscuits and escape in the next installment of the Disco Duck Story!

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The Disco Duck Story Part 8

After the party in the barn that morning, Disco Duck was very tired and by lunchtime, decided it would be a good idea to have a little swim and a little nap. So he did a very BIG jump into the pond and splashed all of his Ducky friends!

After lots of swimming to cool down, and a bit of lunch for some more energy, Disco Duck fell into a deep sleep. While he was asleep he had a very exciting dream. He dreamed that he took a very long ride to the seaside. To get there, he had to get on two trains, one car, and one very very big bus. It was called a double decker. It was very shiny and very red, just like the ones he saw in London!

Disco Duck started singing a song  and doing dance! It went something like this: “Choochoochoo we’re riding on our train, choochoochoo we’re riding on our train” and “Beepbeepbeep we’re driving in our car, beepbeepbeep we’re driving in our car”! Disco Duck sang this all the way to the seaside, and even got a few people to join in the song with him!

When Disco Duck arrived at the seaside, he couldn’t believe his eyes. The sparkly sea was so beautiful, and the golden sand was so soft beneath his webbed feet! The sun was shining so brightly that he had to wear his groovy sunglasses. There were kind people selling ice creams and a big room full of electric machines that you could play games on! It was like heaven on Earth!

Suddenly, one of the machines started bleeping very loudly and Disco Duck woke from his sleep with a start!

“OH!” he said, jumping out of his yellow feathers.

There was a tractor reversing and making a very loud beep, which startled Disco Duck!

“What a wonderful dream!”, he said as he stretched his arms and shook his little legs to wake himself up.

It gave him a wonderful idea. He would go and teach the boys and girls the cars and trains song he sang in his dream! He really hoped they would join in with him and sing along and do the dance!

So off he went to find them, singing along to himself about cars, and trains, and remembering that he needs to get some petrol!

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Welcome to Our World…

Here at the Disco Duck HQ, we thought it would be great to introduce you to some of our existing licensees and share their thoughts/experiences on owning the Disco Duck Licence.

Gail Henry is a Licentiate Member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, mother of 3 children and has been running the Gail Henry School of Dance for approximately 20 years.

She purchased the Disco Duck Licence in September 2011.

Here she answers some questions about the licence and her classes:

How did you find out about the Disco Duck Licence?

I saw an advert in the ISTD dance magazine, and I was also recommended it by another teacher.

What would you consider to be the benefits of owning the Disco Duck Licence – as opposed to creating your own sessions?

Everything is already done for you! The dances, music and props have all been prepared and carefully put together. You also receive good support and help with all aspects from teaching ideas to promoting your classes.

How successful has the Disco Duck Licence been for you?

The classes have been really busy and I have had great feedback from everyone who has attended. It has been great for me too, as I now have some successful daytime classes.

 

What are the best things about teaching Pre-School Age Children?

They are such a rewarding group of children. They just naturally love dance and music and it wonderful to see them turn up for you class so excited. Parents often say their children ask them daily “Is it Disco Duck today?!”. To see such enthusiasm and enjoyment in your classes is fantastic.

What in your opinion would you consider to be the most challenging things about teaching Pre-School Age Children?

Keeping their concentration! But the Disco Duck licence offers great amount of ideas and work which you soon find what works for you and your classes.

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Image: Gail Henry & Her Lovely Family

To find out more about Gail and her successful Dance Studio please visit: http://www.gailhenryschoolofdance.co.uk 

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The Disco Duck Story Part 7

Tentatively, Farmer Fred reached out his hand and grabbed the door knob. It gave him an electric shock.

“OUCH!” he said loudly, shaking his hand; “How odd, that never happens”. Something truly weird was going on here, but Farmer Fred also suspected it would be a wonderful kind of weird. He stretched out his arm again and reached for the door knob. He turned it slowly, extremely excited to see what he was going to find. As he opened the door to the huge barn, he could not believe his eyes!

“What…on…Earth?!” he said to himself. He was in such disbelief, for in front of him was a whole bunch of boys and girls jumping up and down, clapping their hands and wiggling their hips to the music. The song was something Farmer Fred recognized, but he couldn’t quite remember what it was. He made a mental note to ask Mrs Fred, his wife, later on. As he watched in amazement, the boys and girls carried on dancing. The smiles on their faces were as big as the beautiful sunshine outside. Suddenly, a little girl came and took Farmer Fred’s hand, looked up at him, and smiled. She tugged for him to follow her into the middle of the barn, where the boys and girls had started to hold hands and make a huge circle.

Farmer Fred was very confused – by this point he didn’t have a clue what was going on, but he was bopping his head to the music just like everyone else. And then, just as the circle started getting bigger, in waddled none other than Disco Duck! He stood in the middle of the circle, flapped his wings, gave a very loud “QUACK!” and off we went – dancing, jumping and twirling in the middle of the circle, right next to Farmer Fred. Well, Farmer Fred was astounded! He didn’t know what to do, so he threw his head back with a loud booming laugh and started stamping his feet and clapping his hands.

“Disco Duck, I cannot believe this! You’ve created your very own party!”

Farmer Fred really was so happy that Disco Duck was bringing so much joy to all of the boys and girls. He danced for a little bit longer and then decided to go and feed the animals (they were wondering where their breakfast was!)

As he walked off he thought “What a wonderful start to the day – there ain’t no party like a Disco Duck party!” and chuckled to himself.

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The Disco Duck Story Part 6

That night, Farmer Fred had the strangest dream. He dreamt that he was out farming his crops in the field, and it was evening time at the end of summer. He was watering all of his plants when all of a sudden, he realised a sparkly bit on one of the leaves.

“What’s that?” he asked himself. As he looked up towards the sky, he saw lots of glittering, sparkling little specks, falling from the sky and onto the fields. He thought that he must be mad, but even when he closed his eyes and opened them again, the sparkle was still there. In the distance, he could hear a quacking.  It sort of sounded a bit like singing, in duck language!

“Surely not…” he thought. Just then, Farmer Fred’s alarm clock went off and he woke up with a start.

“What a very strange dream” he said to himself, as he got up and got ready for a day on the farm. As he made his way outside, all of the animals on the farm seemed to smile at seeing him, and as he made his way to feed his ducks, he noticed that Disco Duck was not there! Oh no! Where was he? He searched and searched, around the pond, in the grass, even in the cow field (sometimes Disco Duck went to see his friends there) but he could not be found.

But wait! Just then, Farmer Fred heard a beat coming from the other side of the farm.

“What on Earth is that?” thought Farmer Fred. He went to investigate. As he approached his big barn, he realised that this is where it was coming from. There was music coming from inside! He very carefully approached the door, and slowly pulled it open – what was he going to find?

Find out in the next instalment of the Disco Duck Story!

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The Disco Duck Story Part 5

Now that Disco Duck was a local celebrity, Honeysuckle Farm started to get very busy, with lots of visitors coming to see Disco Duck’s amazing talent! How interesting – a dancing duck! A dancing Disco Duck.

“Incredible!” said all the boys and girls, giggling and smiling, trying to join in with his moves.

When Farmer Fred pressed play on his iPod, Disco Duck jumped out of the pond and started twisting, wiggling, jumping and clapping in time to the funky music playing.

Soon enough, he realised that all of the boys and girls were also joining in, and copying what Disco Duck was doing.

“Hmmm”, thought Disco Duck to himself, “all of the lovely children are joining in! Look at the big smiles on their faces – they must really enjoy dancing with me to the music! Quack!”

Disco Duck was really happy that the Magical Musical Sprinkles had landed on him that Midsummer’s Eve, because now he could spread fun and joy to all the boys and girls that came to visit the farm.

Farmer Fred had never seen his farm so busy, and at the end of the day, taking a big stretch and a big yawn, he went and thanked Disco Duck for bringing so much fun to the farm.

“Quack!” Disco Duck replied with a beaky smile.

As Farmer Fred made his way back to his farm house, he realised he was humming a tune and bopping his head! He laughed and shook his head…

“Disco Duck is the best”, he said, as he turned his light off and went to bed.

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The Disco Duck Story Part 4

Farmer Fred could not believe his eyes!  He rubbed them once, twice and still Disco Duck was dancing to the Music!

“Well I have never seen anything like this before in my life!” He murmured.

Farmer Fred watched in amazement and as the music played on, Disco Duck twirled, wiggled, bounced and clapped his wings together in perfect time to the music…

The music faded and as it did – Disco Duck stopped dancing and waddled happily to the pond, jumped in with a splash and swam smoothly round and round as if nothing had happenned.

Farmer Fred reached for his phone, “You have to see this!”  He called.  Within half an hour there was a gathering of about 10 people.  They had all  come to watch Disco Duck Dance.

Farmer Fred pushed play on his IPOD, the music floated over the pond it was funky with a rhythmical beat and without hesitation Disco Duck jumped out of the pond,onto the grassy bank and danced for the stunned crowd.

After he had finished, the people broke into spontaeneous applause. Disco Duck, bowed his head, quacked his thanks and waddled off back to the pond.

“WOW! That is amazing!”  Shouted someone- a dancing Duck – a Dancing Disco Duck! And that is how Disco Ducks amazing talent was discovered….

To find out more about Disco Duck – please follow the Blog for the next instalment….

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FUN WAYS TO GET FIT WITH THE UNDER 5s

I had a very interesting conversation with a friend today.  She attends a Disco Duck class and whilst her daughter is enjoying the freedom of expressing herself through our dance classes, she also enjoys the class!

She stated that the realisation of using her whole body to perform some of our actions, simply emphasises how limiting every day actions in life are.  How often do you lift your arms above your head or reach and stretch whilst assuming day to day routine?  Our normal actions are small and effortless and of course all good excercise requires energy and the ability to make our heart beat faster.

Using the body effectively in excercise is a must, for example, walking whilst moving the arms creates even more energy.   Any basic action can be improved by adding an arm action for example, start by performing  a gentle side step left to right (We call these basic taps)  Then try adding arm actions and gradually increasing the size and height of the action.  You will find your body warming and your heart beating faster as you raise the tempo.

Adding energy and effort into our everyday routine goes a long way to helping our fitness.

Add some feel good tunes to the mix and time will pass quickly – was that exercise?

Happy Dancing everyone!

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