When kids dance to music, it’s not only fun to add scarves – they can also be really useful to help children develop new skills. If you have a lot of scarves or other bits of fabric in your house, they’re perfect for creating musical activities for toddlers and preschoolers!  

We have come up with 5 snazzy reasons to use scarves, have a lot of fun, and watch your children learn and grow in the process. 

Scarves Help Kids Develop Spatial Awareness

Children are often not very aware of what is going on around them. By playing with the scarves while dancing and moving to music, you can teach your children about boundaries. Since scarves have a beginning and an end, it is easy to tell when it touches something else. 

This helps children understand what is around them. They’ll be swirling around and can take note of what is in front of them, where their peers are, and keep them from crashing into people or objects near them. 

Scarves Develop Fine Motor Skills During Playtime

Toddlers learn to use their hands for gripping items. With scarves, they have to use their fingers and thumbs together to hold onto the scarf. This helps them develop the grabbing and holding muscles in their fingers and thumbs.

While they play with scarves, they are learning the skills they need now and later on in life such as using kitchen utensils, buttoning their shirts, and way down the road when they are learning to drive a car.

If you are looking for even more ways to develop your child’s motor skills, take a look at these 40 Fine Motor Skills Activities. There are a lot of great ideas to do with your children.

Getting Creative Using Scarves

Children have great imaginations but sometimes they need props to bring it out even more. Scarves are a great way for your child to use their imagination and creativity, especially while playing kids’ dance songs. They can use the scarves by moving them in different directions and moving to the beat.

Encourage them to use their whole body. Show them how to wave the scarf up and down, top to bottom. They can even move the scarf from side to side or in a zig-zag pattern.

The speed of the scarf’s movement can also add an exciting factor. How fast can they move the scarf? How slow can they move it? Twirling can add extra fun.

Point to shapes and ask them to draw it with the scarf. The more ways they try to move the scarves, the more fun they will have! 

Scarves are Great for Helping Develop Muscles

Children are constantly growing and needing to develop their muscles. When your children are playing with their fun colored, creativity inducing scarves, they are also using and developing their muscles as well! When you pair it with fun toddler songs they are even doing a mini-workout without even knowing it.

Show your children how to hold the scarf in different ways, swirl it around in different ways, tug the scarf, all of these actions will help your child build up muscle. When they are bending, standing, stretching, swirling around, they are using a lot of different muscles in their bodies all at the same time.

There are even more really great ideas on how to help your children build up their hand muscles in this list of 35 Hand Strength Activities for Kids

Developing Math Language While Playing with Scarves

At a young age, language development is very important for children, especially math language. When playing with the scarves, ask the kids to explain what they are doing.

Have them say the motions they are doing. Without even knowing it, they will begin to use math terms such as, forward, backward, side to side, up, down, under, over, and around, just to name a few.

As they begin doing the actions over and over again, saying the word with the correct action, it will begin to cement the association of the math language terms for your child with the action. 


Your children will be having so much fun with their scarves when you do these activities that they won’t even know that they are learning! So grab your scarves and have some fun. 

If you want to see exactly how we did each step, check out the video below!


Are you a teacher or early childhood educator? Our membership platform for early learning professionals has lots of extra resources to add to our music. Lesson plans, activity ideas, extra training and more. To get a sample, check out our free songs with teaching notes on this page!