Sunday, 18 November 2012

Music and Movement~ Playing with scarves

Playing with scarves is such a wonderful sensory activity for babies and children alike.
When scarves are moving to music the baby or childs sense of sight is stimulated by tracking the bright colours with their eyes. The auditory sense is stimulated by listening to the music and the sense of touch is stimulated by the feel of the scarf on their skin.
They are also learning about object permance and developing motor skills.
Suitable ages: 0+
The best thing about scarf play is that it is so simple.
Most of us will have some scarves that could be used.
You can use sheer fabrics or solid. Any pieces of light material will do.

1. Play Parachute

Lay your baby down in a comfy position.
Put on some calming music.
Wave the scarf above your baby so that it is floating up and down.
Your baby may reach up and try touch the scarf!
Let the scarf drop so it floats down onto your baby.
What a magical sensation for your little one!

2. Play peek-a-boo

Peek-a-boo games are great for developing object permanance.
Object permanance is the knowledge that objects still exist even when they can't be seen. This skill is essential to cognitive development since only after a baby can imagine an unseen object can they remember, reason and plan.
See through scarves are great to use for introducing this game. Move onto more solid materials as your child becomes familiar with the game.
Read about another peek-a-boo game here hide-n-seekin fun
Be sure to put the scarf on yourself as well as soft toys and other objects!

3. Scarf in a tub

6months +
Simple and easy to make. Any container with an opening will do, tissue boxes are brillant.
Hide the scarves inside and let you little one have a great time pulling them out!
Better than pulling out the tissues lol!

4. Dancing

If your baby is not yet walking, simply put on some of your favourite (child appropriate) music, hold your baby in one arm and a scarf in the other and dance around to the music together.
Or, lay your baby down and dance the scarf around to the music for your baby to track with their eyes.
12months +
For older children let them explore the rhythm of music by dancing
free style with the scarf.
Let them experiment with how many ways they can move their scarf.
Can you make it go up and down, sideways, around and around?
Can you make the scarf dance on the floor or wave it high in the air?
Move your scarf like a rainbow.
Move your scarf slowly when the music is slow and quickly when the music is fast.
Throw your scarf up in the air then catch it.
Weeve the scarf through your legs.
The opportunities are endless!
How do you like to play and learn with scarves? Please share your ideas here.
Play and Learn
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  1. My girls adore these games too! A nice reminder to use different scarves and to use them in different ways.

  2. Scarves are amazing fun :) When I graduated and started teaching my dad and step-mum gave me a giant post pack tube full of scarves! My class loving playing with them in lots of different ways. I'll be on maternity leave so my kids will get them to play with again - after they've had a good wash!

  3. Both my boys loved dancing with scarves in our music classes. I love your idea of putting them in plastic containers and pulling them out!

  4. It's amazing that something so simple can be such a great learning tool for children. Great idea.

  5. Aren't they wonderful? We have them even now when Jack is 3.5 . They are now capes and dresses and lava and all kinds of wonderful imaginative play games. Who needs dress-ups when you have play scalves? :D

  6. We love scarves here...your pics are absolutely much joy there!Great ideas you've shared x

  7. It really is such a simple activity with immense rewards , fab pics

  8. Scarves are just magical and there are so many wonderful things you can do with them! Gorgeous photos!

  9. We love our play silks (which are pretty much the same thing in many ways), my son who is 4 turns them into all sorts of things, costumes, playscapes, even bullets (lol). Such a great reminder to keep it simple!