Baby Play: Rainbow Scarves

Babies learn using their senses






As they grow

They also learn through movement

Babies love to investigate and explore

They love an adventure

Scarves are a wonderful way to play

With your baby

Engaging all of their senses

Encouraging movement

Creating adventure

scarf play

Scarves are a simple pleasure

Not only for babies

But toddlers and older children too

They are great for creating scenery for small world play

And have a regular role in our dancing shows

Here are some super simple ways to play with scarves

That are fun and have huge educational benefits

Move a scarf for baby to follow

They will track the colourful material’s movements

Developing their sense of sight

Baby can also have fun looking through a scarf

Challenging and changing their visual perception

sight scarf

A baby’s sense of touch is stimulated

As the scarf brushes their skin

As they pull the chiffon or silk through their hands

Feel it softly fall over their face

softly fall scarf

By learning to grasp a scarf

Baby is developing their fine motor skills

In preparation for learning to grasp a ball, a crayon, a pencil

grasping scarf

Peek-a-boo games with scarves

Develop an understanding of object permanence

Which is the understanding that an object still exists

Even though it is temporarily unseen

Peek a Boo!

peek a boo scarf

As baby swooshes and moves a scarf from left to right

And alternates between their right and left hands

They learn how to cross the midline of the body

Which is a seminal pre-reading and pre-writing skill

mid line scarf





head scarf




scarf playing

So many ways to play

ways to play scarf

Edie loves having scarves stuffed inside a box or ball

For her to find

For her to grasp and tug

scarf ball

We have found the Skip Hop Roll Around Hedgehog to be perfect for this

scarf play

There are lots more inspirational ideas for scarf play

Scarves are a fabulous open ended toy

That can be used with children of all ages

Sarahs Silks are the Rolls Royce of play scarves

But if like me you are on a budget

There are lots available on Amazon

We have these

play scarves

I always keep a couple of scarves

And an open cage ball in my bag

For sensory play on the go

Scarves can soothe a temper

Diffuse almost any situation

They are a good distraction

A bright and colourful portable play thing

With so many ways to play

Wherever you may be

2018-01-18 10.54.08

More Ways To Play

Scarves provide hours of fun for imaginative play. Super hero caps, butterfly or bird wings, snakes, baby blankets, blind folds, wash cloths (a mother can dream can’t she), there doesn’t seem to be anything my girls can’t turn their scarves into. Here are some fun activities I love to use in studio and at home to illustrate how scarves can also be used in structured play from ages 0-5:

Babies 0-12 months:

Eye tracking: Scarves are a fabulous way to practice eye tracking with your baby. With baby laying on their back or stomach or sitting try moving your scarf side to side and up and down in front of your baby. For babies 3 months and under make your movement slow so they have time to track the movement. With older babies movements can be faster and directions more varied.

Peek-a-boo: Use your scarf to play this all time favorite game. Peek-a-boo is a great game for helping to develop object permanence. And really nothing is cuter then the smiles and squeals from a surprised baby. Try putting the scarf over your face, wait a moment, take it off quickly and say peek-a-boo! After a few times try putting the scarf over your baby’s face, take it off and say peek-a-boo. With babies around 12 months try giving them a scarf and see if they will copy you.

Dance with your Baby: Pick up your baby and your scarf and whirl and twirl around the room to the music. Your baby will love the combination of watching the scarf and feeling the movement you provide.

Gentle Tug of War/Row row row your Boat: While your baby is in side lying position engage her with a light soft toy or scarf. Watch as your baby reaches for the scarf, extending her top arm and leg while the other side grounds her to the floor. Once she seems to have found her balance bring the prop close enough for her to grasp. Then gently tug on the prop providing a slight shift in balance. How does your baby react?

Once she seems very comfortable sing Row, row, row your Boat while gently pulling and releasing the prop providing a dynamic balance experience.

Row, row, row, your boat

Gently down the stream.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream!

Toddlers 1-2.5 years:

* Toddlers will still enjoy many of the games above varied for their greater ability level. You will notice they will be more active participants in the games. Also try adding the following activities.

Hide and Seek: Place a few items under a scarf (e.g. a small book, teddy, and a sock). Ask your tot to give you the teddy, then lift up the scarf, and see if your tot will identify the correct object. This game can be used to help develop color, shape, animal, and letter identification.

Siesta/ Fiesta: Put on slow music and tuck your tot in under the scarf for a short siesta (nap in spanish). Then switch to upbeat music and encourage your tot to get up and fiesta (party) and dance with their scarf. Continue to switch back and forth. Toddlers enjoy this simple music and movement identification game.

Preschoolers 2.5-5 years

Throwing and catching: Scarves are an excellent way to introduce throwing and catching skills. Little hands have a much easier time handling and manipulating soft scarves then balls. Because they float slowly as they return to the ground preschoolers are able to easily combine hand-eye coordination. Another bonus is they do not have the same risk of damaging the house while playing indoors.

What’s Missing?: Show your preschooler a series of objects (e.g. a small book, teddy, and a sock). Cover the objects with the scarf and without your preschooler seeing take one object away. Lift the scarf and ask your preschooler what is missing? This game is great for short term memory development and retention skills.

Dance and Balance: Turn on some music and dance with your scarves. Pause the music at intervals and call out a body part for your preschooler to balance their scarf on. Discuss which body parts were easy to balance the scarf on and which were trickier.

play scary play

How will you play with a scarf today?

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