All kids love scarves. We use them in our Music Together classes to hide under, fold, toss and dance. There are plenty of ways to use scarves, and depending on the mood of music, they bring out all sorts of creativity in toddlers and children. Imagine all the colours, music and a whole group of adults and kids getting in on the fun. What great bonding!
Tossing scarves is second nature. You gather the scarf as a ball in your hand and throw it up in the air. How could something simple help improve co-ordination and sports performance?
There are many aspects of sports performance. If you'd like to think our young kids will be the next Serena Williams, Michael Phelps, Joseph Schooling or Cristiano Ronaldo then you're reading the right article. All sports need great technique, stamina, focus, balance and brain-body connection.
At 2 or 3 years old, you could try to giving them tennis lessons. Either that, or improve their core functions - fine motor and large motor skills, balance, focus, attention and more. Enter SCARVES.
Playing with scarves require all of these basic physical and mental talents. Anchor and create these strong patterns in the brain and the body will have a solid foundation in which to build skills upon.
- Ball up the scarf in your hand and throw it up in the air.
- Watch it float down and catch it with both hands. (Or one hand!)
- Throw it again and let the child catch it.
- Then let them do it themselves.
FINE MOTOR: Balling up the scarf requires the hands and fingers to control the material, encouraging fine motor coordination. Single handed movements will require even higher degree of fine motor skills. The sensation of the material and the requirement of hand-eye coordination also greatly improves fine motor skills.
LARGE MOTOR: The toddler develops gross (large) motor skills simply from throwing and catching. At the same time, coordination, timing, balance and body awareness are developed. Of course, hand-leg-eye co-ordination is also improved. To challenge older kids, encourage them to do one-handed throw and catches.
SPATIAL SENSE: Spatial sense is essential for sports. This awareness requires precise brain-body connection in order to understand where their body is in space, where their arms and legs are in relation to their body, and the relative position of things/people around them. Playing with scarves improve internal and external awareness including awareness of their own vs other children’s personal space. It also enhances respect for others as everyone plays together in a shared space.
Don't have a scarf?
Try some alternatives:
- A small piece of fabric
- A handkerchief
- A small pillow case
- Grocery bags
How do you use your scarves? Drop us a comment below :)