Scarves are one of the essentials in my prop box as they are so versatile. The can be used with babies through to Reception age and beyond. So how can you use this fantastic resource in your musical activities? Here are some of the ways I use scarves in my music times.
Songs and Rhymes
I do most of my songs without props but occasionally it is worth adding a prop to either give it a new approach or to engage some of the children who may be reluctant to join in. Here are two ways I may use scarves during songs and rhymes:
You can use scarves in any song/rhyme that has a flowing/falling feel e.g. rain, snow, rainbow, leaves, fireworks… So if I was to do this I would ensure that the children had plenty of space around them, give each child a scarf, then model how they could move the scarf as the song/rhyme is sung/said’; I always encourage the children to do their own movements but some child need a model to guide them.
Here are some examples of songs/rhyme that you may like to use for this purpose:
- Rain is falling down.
- The rain drops on to my head
- I can sing a rainbow (gather all the children together to create a rainbow with the different colours)
- Dance like snowflakes
- Autumn Leaves are Falling
- Up like a rocket
- Zoom, zoom, zoom we’re going to the moon
All of these can songs can be found in the Activity Ideas for ~2 to 5 Years in Early Years Music Ideas.
Playing Peeka Boo!
With babies, the adult holds a translucent scarf in front of the baby's face whilst they say or sing a peeka boo rhyme.
Some example songs/rhyme I might use are:
- Can you play at peeka boo
- Underneath the water (this is the freebie section of early years music ideas, you can sign up for free below)
Listening to music
For many listening activities I give the children or adults, who are caring for a baby, props whilst listening to the music. A scarf is a great way for them to expressively move whilst listening to the music. I model different ways of moving the scarves for the children so they can choose the most enjoyable. Here are the ways I have used the scarves:
Blowing the scarf
We hold a scarf at one end and then blow it. It usually creates giggles when the babies watch the scarf float up. With the older children, I sometimes get them to let go as they blow and then see if they can catch it.
Throw and Catch
As this suggests the scarf is thrown up and then the child/baby watches it float before it is caught.
The older children love putting the scarf behind them. Recently I have followed the topic/theme Minibeasts with the children and I asked them to pretend to be dragonflies. The scarf was a great prop to use as pretend wings; we were listening to Grasshoppers and Dragonflies. They loved holding it behind them whilst they floated around the room.
Easily if you were doing a superhero theme the children could put the scarf behind them and use it as a cape whilst moving to the music.
Spin and Twirl
Just let the children swirl the scarf around: up and down, and round and round. Carers with babies could also do this. The adult spins around with the baby whilst letting the scarf float. Lots of fun had by all!
The scarf is a great resource. If you have them in your props cupboard get them out and let the children use them!
Happy music making!
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