Check out these awesome scarf activities for kids that promote all kinds of motor skills!
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I love scarf activities for so many reasons! You’ll find tons of fun ways to play with scarves in my book, ABC’s of Active Learning: Multisensory Literacy Activities.
Scarf activities are excellent, non-threatening ways to introduce catching skills to children. The scarf moves more slowly than a ball and provides children frequent and easy opportunities to catch it as it falls. Successful manipulation of scarves comes quickly, which leads to positive reinforcement and confidence!
When leading a large group with play scarves, start off with the most basic skills and progress from there. Here is our favorite set of scarves to get started!
Scarf Activities for Kids
1 || Scarf Basics
Initially, lead children in learning movement concepts by waving their scarves at low level (below knees), medium level (at waist), and high level (overhead).
Progress the difficulty of this activity by having kids take turns leading the group by waving the scarves in the above mentioned positions. Then, challenge children to come up with their own creative positions, such as waving the scarf in front of, behind, between legs, and to the sides.
2 || Tossing Activities
Begin tossing activities by simply showing kids how to toss the scarf overhead and watch (or, what we therapy folks call “visually track”) it as it floats to the ground.
Next, introduce a two-handed catch as children become familiar with how slowly the scarf will fall.
Make things even more challenging by introducing:
-tossing with one hand and catching with the other
-tossing and clapping before catching
-twirling around and catching the scarf before it hits the ground,
-tossing and catching the scarf with different body parts (head, elbow, and foot)
3 || Skywriting
Scarves can also be used for skywriting. Skywriting involves writing letters in the air using the muscles of the upper arm and shoulder, much like working on a vertical surface. Children can use their scarves to skywrite the first letter of their name, their entire name, or familiar words.
4 || Let’s Go Fishing!
My favorite scarf game is, Let’s Go Fishing. While standing in a circle, everyone holds their scarf with two hands and pretends it is a fishing pole. We all say, “Here fishy, fishy, fishy” and lift up our scarves pretending to catch something.
The adult leader asks each child, “What did you catch?” Children take turns answering and showing off their catch. I have heard everything from, “I caught a shark”, “I caught a minnow” to “I caught an old boot” while playing this game!
For Virtual Sessions:
All of the ideas above can be completed with simple things that caregivers are likely to have available at home. Try any of the activities using a cloth napkin, a dish towel, or even a length of toilet paper!
What are your favorite scarf activities for kids? Share them in the comments below! And be sure to check out our favorite creative movement activities using streamers!
Looking for more fun ways to integrate movement and learning into your classroom or therapy practice? Check out the ABC’s of Active Learning ebook and the other ABCs of Movement products here!