Scarf Play

baby with scarf

Scarf play is a wonderful sensory activity! It is a great bonding and brain building activity with your child.

Babies 0 – 12months

Eye tracking:

  • 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. For older babies movements can be faster and directions more varied.

Feeling scarves:

• Take a scarf and rub it gently across your child's face. Move it to tickle them behind their ear.


  • Try putting the scarf over your face, wait a moment, take it off quickly and say peek-a-boo!
  • You could say things like, 'Where are you, I can't see you?' while your face is covered. As you reveal your face, make an expression to show your child you're surprised.
  • 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 swirl and twirl the scarf around the room to the music.

colourful scarves    scarves in box.png

Toddlers 1 – 2.5years

Floating Scarfs:

 Show your child how to float a scarf and then let them have a go.

  • Because they are still little, they may need to throw the scarf up a little bit, so that it has height to float down from.
  • You can play this game in the backyard or at the park, with a little bit of wind to help the scarf float.

Hide and Seek:

  • Place a few items under a scarf (e.g. a small book, teddy, and a sock).
  • Ask your child to give you the teddy, then lift the scarf, and see if your child will find the correct item.

Siesta/ Fiesta:

  • Put on slow music and tuck your child under the scarf for a short nap (Siesta).
  • Then switch to upbeat music and encourage your child to get up and fiesta (party) and dance with their scarf. Continue to switch back and forth.

Pulling Scarves from a Box:

  • You'll need an old tissue box or a wipes box.
  • You can hide one scarf or several. Hand your child the box and let them explore.

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 soft scarves than balls. Because they float slowly as they return to the ground.
  • Another bonus is they do not have the same risk of damaging the house while playing indoors.
  • For pre-schoolers who are learning to count, ask them to guess how long the scarf will take to float to the ground. As they throw the scarf tell them to count and encourage them to keep counting until the scarf reaches the ground.

Hide and Seek:

  • Try placing several scarves on the ground. Tell your child that there is something hiding under one of the scarves and they need to try and find it.
  • Ask them to point to the scarf they think the object is hidden underneath. Then ask them to lift up the scarf and see if there is anything hiding there.
  • Ask your child to hide an object you can find.
  • Tell your child the scarf is hiding somewhere in the room and ask them to try and find it. Give them clues if they get stuck.

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.


 Scarves in the shape of a heart

We'd love to see your creations and home based play! Share with us on Facebook at @yrfamilies #YarraRangesPlay

You can contact the YRC Family & Children’s Services team on 1300 368 333 or by email at