Playing With Scarves

Playing with scarves is a wonderful sensory activity for babies. We also think they have so many benefits for children too, which is why we include them at Frenzy Drama.

Scarf play is so simple and most of us will have some sort of scarf that can be used - alternatively sheer fabric or light material will do!

Benefits Of Scarf Play

  • Sparks the imagination

  • Teaches directional tracking

  • Improves eye-hand coordination

  • Increases vocabulary

  • Sharpens listening skills

  • Practices inhibitory skills

  • Develop gross and fine motor skills

  • Boosts brain development

  • Encourages discovery

  • Provides textural and visual stimulation

Some Scarf Play Ideas

  1. Stuff a scarf inside a whisk for your baby to pull out

  2. Thread scarves through an old egg box so they can pull them out

  3. Use a scarf to create scenery for small world play

  4. Move a scarf in front of your baby for them to follow

  5. Play peek a boo with the scarf

  6. Tie a scarf around the legs of the high chair so that it goes across. Add a hooped or looped toy or instrument so they can move it up and down and side to side

  7. Pop your babies favourite toy under the scarf and secure the corners with masking or washi tape and let them try to rescue the toy by pulling it out from under the scarf

  8. As your baby moves the scarf use words like swish, twist, float, twirl, wave, scrunch, toss

  9. Stuff a scarf inside a box or ball for your baby to find, grasp and tug

  10. Dance with your baby - pick your baby and scarf up and whirl and twirl around the room to music

  11. Pop some herbs in the scarf and wrap it inside, securing it with a bobble and let them have a good smell

  12. Row Row Row Your Boat - lie your baby down and engage them with the scarf. As they reach for it, bring it closer so they can grasp it. Then gently tog on the scarf providing a slight shift in balance. See how they react. Once they are comfortable, sing Row Row Row Your Boat while gently pulling and releasing the prop to provide a dynamic balance experience

  13. Hide and seek - place a few items under a scarf and encourage your baby to find the objects, naming them as they pick them up

  14. Attach scarves to your baby gym, lie baby underneath and let them grab, play and kick the scarves

  15. Spray the scarf with a little bit of water and they will love the surprise they get when they feel it and discover wet hands

  16. Chase the scarf - a great one for tummy time! Place your baby on their tummy and dangle he scarf where they can reach it. Encourage them to grasp for it and as they do so, pull the scarf away gently. When they let go of the scarf, move it to a new position. As their range of movement develops, place the scarf further away to encourage crawling. You can also place it to the side of them to encourage rolling over

  17. Add stickers or washi tape to the scarf and let them rip them off and play with it

  18. Put some rice, lentils or similar inside a scarf, tie it up with a bobble and let them feel the texture, shake it and play with the new sensation

  19. Floating scarves - let the scarf float down. For younger babies, let it float over their faces and for toddlers, show them how to get the scarf to float and then let them have a go at doing it themselves. If there is a light wind outside, why not take them outside to explore it in the wind too?

  20. Tie scarves on to a hula hoop. Lie or sit baby in the middle of the hoop and let them explore. This is also great for tummy time

  21. Tell a story and use your scarf as a fun prop as you act out the story

  22. Add music - vary the music and move your scarf in different ways to the beat of the music

  23. Hide a scarf inside a stacking cup and see if they can find which one it is under

  24. Put a scarves into different size gift bags and see if baby can pull them out

  25. Stuff a scarf inside the tube of a toilet roll and let them pull it out

Speech Development Tips

  • Narrate what is happening

  • Make lots of eye contact

  • Use words to describe the colour, texture, shape and size of the scarf

  • Use words to describe the direction and pace the scarf is moving at

  • Use the scarf to help with body recognition by giving a gentle massage with the scarf or going from body part to body part moving the scarf in different ways and directions. As you touch each body part, name it. This enhances spatial awareness, fosters body awareness and develops speech and language skills

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