Inspired by Valerie at Frugal Family Fun Blog and her simple post on ribbon dancing, I remembered something similar from my childhood, likely happening during the Olympics. (Look! Here's a page from Wikipedia on rhythmic gymnastics with a ribbon!) What I remember is a black plastic stick with long, probably multicolored mylar ribbon attached somehow. We'd take them outside in the sun and dance around.
Wanting to create the same fun for my nieces on the cheap, here's what I did:
Purchased two wooden spoons at the thrift shop, ten cents each. I took sandpaper and sanded them to get off any cooked-in yuck, then had Hubs drill two holes in each one. I also sanded the edges of the holes to smooth them out.
I looked all over for mylar ribbon with no luck. The local party planning store had pink mylar sheets, though, so I cut one inch strips off of them and taped them together. Gauge the age and ability of the child to the length - I think younger ones would get frustrated if it was too long. I also bought some mylar curling-type ribbon that is gold on one side and silver on the other, and cut one piece to the same length as the taped-together ribbon.
I threaded the ribbons through the holes and centered them so there was about equal amounts on either side and tied a couple of knots to hold it.
I'm sorry I don't have any shots of me testing them out, or my nieces with them - but I assure you, they are fun!
For more frugal ideas, visit Life as Mom.