Scarves are a great tool for parents, teachers, and group fitness
instructors to use with students. Using scarves can teach children to use
upper body muscles that are multi-directional: the back trapezius,
lattissimus dorsi, and serratus anterior; shoulder front, rear, and side
deltoids; and arm muscles from the biceps bracii, triceps, and
brachioradialis. Individual or fine motor units are recruited with the
flexors, extensors and the digits.
Scarves also teach discipline by helping students focus on their academic
studies. They teach students to track word patterns and phonics used in
reading, sequencing patterns in math, and acting out two-dimensional and
three-dimensional shapes. They can teach students how to write numbers and
teach direction with left, right, up and down movements. Scarves enhance
fine motor skills in handwriting and art. They teach hand and eye
coordination, balance, rhythm and reflexes. Scarves teach and apply basic
movement skills, functional fitness, positive body image, and well-being of
Scarves encourage cooperation skills and allow students to work together for
a common fun and activity. They teach teamwork and group work since the
activities leave no students out and children of various abilities and
talents can have fun using the scarves. Scarves are also good tools to use
with special education students of all ages and in rehabilitation and
functional fitness for senior adults. Scarves teach fitness for a lifetime,
promote safety, and allow for goal setting as the student progresses from
one skill with practice; juggling from one scarf to three.
When working with scarves, it is helpful to start with a general upper body
warm-up. Arm rotators, jumping jacks, and push-ups are great to use with
students because they allow basic calisthenics for beginning exercisers and
advanced plyometric movements for those more skilled in the group.
Scarves are great for imagination. Some fun activities include: using the
scarves in a motion like a windshield wiper, driving a car in a circular
fashion, circling up above the head like a helicopter propeller, or moving
up and down like a carousel. The scarves can represent nature by acting
like the wind, water, a rainbow, or rivers. Scarves can also be made into
animal movements or specific creatures. Scarves can also represent
objects. They can be a flag flying the air or swinging along in the wind as
a kite. Scarves can be people talking with body language or directing
traffic as a police officer.
Juggling is a great skill to teach to students. When juggling you keep
scarves between the thumb, index finger and the middle fingers. Getting a
height on the scarves is useful when juggling. It is important to first
practice juggling with one scarf. Sweeping back and forth directions with
arm movements help lift scarves across the body and high in the air to and
allows the opposite arm to catch the scarf. It is best to hold each scarf
dangling from the center. This is true in one scarf juggling, two scarves
juggling and so on.
With two scarves, you hold one scarf in each hand, toss one just like
before, and when it gets to the top of the peak arch, toss the other scarf
across your body. Catch the first one and then the second. Do not toss
both scarves up at the same time. Be sure to toss and catch with both
Juggling three scarves is tricky and takes a lot of practice (Especially for
me since I have not perfected it yet.) Hold two scarves in one hand and one
in the other. Start by tossing one of the two scarves and, while the scarf
is in the air, toss the scarf from the other hand. Release the second scarf
from the two-scarf hand. Catch the first scarf and then toss the scarf from
the first hand and catch the other scarf. It is helpful to say after the
first scarf is released: “toss, catch, toss, catch.” At least one scarf is
always in the air. Juggling with scarves is a great precursor to juggling
other objects like beanbags, rings, balls and hoops.
Some games you can use with the scarves include catching the scarf with your
head, elbow, shoulder, stomach, back, or foot. You can toss a scarf under
your leg, and throw behind your back and catch it at the other side. Spin
your legs and catch the scarf clockwise and counter-clockwise.
Scarves are a fun activity to use with elementary, special education and
senior adults. They are challenging and teach practice coordination and
discipline. Many repetitions will result in success and high self-esteem
for our learners.
Juggling Comes to Laguna Road School
Juggling Lesson Plan
Landy, Michael and Joanne. Ready to use P.E.Activities for Grades K-2.
Nyack, New York: Parker Publishing Company: 1992.
Landy, Michael and Joanne, Ready to use P.E.Activities for Grades 3-4,Parker
Publishing Company: Nyack New York, 1992.
Learn how to Juggle Lesson Plan
Learn how to juggle with Mickle!
Juggling Lesson Plans 2
Juggling with scarves
Panegyrize, Robert P. and Dauber, Victor P. Dynamic Physical Education for
Elementary School Children. Ninth Edition. New York: Macmillion Publishing
Stewart, Georgiana. Musical Scarves and Activities. Long Branch, New Jersey:
Teach Circus Scarves
Vondruska, Mike. Be a Juggler. Evansville, Indiana: MID-COM, 1986.