Juggling scarves are a great way to add some fun and variety to your physical education classes or for a quick classroom energizer. Not only are they visually stimulating, but they also provide a great way to improve coordination and motor skills. Using scarves in PE is an ideal way to get kids active and engaged in their learning. Plus, they're just plain fun to use! Scarves come in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can really mix things up and keep your students moving and learning. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of juggling scarves in physical education class, and provide several ideas for using them in your own classes. Let's get started!
Pic from from Mrs. Hochman (& Mr. Ramlow) @CopelandD70PE
Why use juggling scarves in PE?
You can use physical education juggling scarf activities to teach various skills and PE concepts in a school setting or at home (distance learning) easily and quickly. They are colorful, fun, and can be used in a variety of activities. Children can use scarves in a number of ways to help improve their manipulative skills, such as tossing, catching, and juggling. Training with scarves can help students later when they advance to using juggling balls. They can easily help students improve their skill-related fitness components, such as agility, balance, coordination, and reaction time. In addition, juggling scarves can also be used to teach basic math concepts such as patterns and sequencing.
The great thing about nylon scarves in a physical education class is that they can be used in a variety of games and activities. For example, kids can race to see who can keep the most scarves in the air, or they can try to juggle them while walking or running. Juggling scarves are also a great way to teach coordination and teamwork. By working together, kids can learn to pass the scarves back and forth without dropping them. This is a great activity for developing coordination, communication, and problem-solving skills.
How to use juggling scarves in a PE lesson?
Juggling scarves can be used in a variety of ways to teach a variety of skills and concepts. They are an effective way for students to work together in partners, groups, or individually as a PE lesson, or classroom brain break during recess.
Colorful scarves are great for stations, relays or fun games that involve a large group. They can be used to toss, catch, juggle or pull like a football flag in a tag game. Engage your children by teaching them how to juggle scarves with their parents, siblings, and friends. Those who matter most will be more likely to support you if you follow this advice!
Do juggling scarves help address PE standards?
Not only are scarves fun for students to use, but they also engage them in activities that address SHAPE America's Standard 1 which states: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.* The juggling scarf movements and activities you choose to use during lessons can easily meet any national, state, or district standards.
Pic from from Mercedes Zamora @idreamofcaketx
Fun Ideas for Using Scarves in a PE Class or as a Classroom Energizer
If you're looking for a way to get your students engaged and moving, these 30 fun activities with juggling scarves are perfect!
Your students can complete the following tasks individually, with a partner, or in small groups at any of the stations throughout your learning area.
1- Stationary Tossing and Catching Skills
Toss and Catch- Toss and catch one scarf in your own personal space. Try tossing and catching with two hands or one.
Catching Levels- Toss one scarf up in the air and catch it at different levels. Try catching it up high, in the middle and down low. Also, try catching using different body parts.
Rainbow Toss- Toss and catch a scarf from one hand to the other. The scarf should travel in a rainbow shape.
Seated Catch- Toss the scarf from a standing position and then sit down to catch it. Try tossing and catching while sitting too.
Lying Catch- Toss the scarf from a standing position and then lie down to catch it. Try tossing and catching while lying down.
Under Leg Toss & Catch- Lift up one of your legs and reach under to toss the scarf up in the air. Catch it before it hits the ground.
Behind Back Catch- Toss the scarf up in the air and turn halfway around. Catch it behind your back with 1 hand or 2.
2- Tossing, Moving and Catching Skills
Toss-Touch-Catch- Toss the scarf from a standing position and then touch the ground before you catch it.
Toss-Turn-Catch- Toss the scarf from a standing position and then turn around 360 degrees before you catch it.
Toss-Clap-Catch- Toss the scarf from a standing position and then clap once or multiple times before you catch it.
Toss-Jumping Jack-Catch-Toss the scarf up in the air and then do a jumping jack or multiple jumping jacks before catching it.
Invent a Toss & Catch- Invent some new ways to toss and catch one scarf. Be creative but safe with your movement.
3- Two Scarf Tossing and Catching Skills
2 Scarf- Same Hand- Toss 2 scarves up in the air, one from each hand. Catch the scarves using the same hand you tossed them from.
2 Scarf- Opposite Hand- Toss 2 play scarves up in the air, one from each hand. Catch each scarf using the opposite hand that you tossed from.
Circle Right- Toss 1 scarf up with your right hand. Pass the 2nd scarf to your right hand from your left hand and toss it up. Catch the 1st scarf with your left hand. Repeat the motion.
Circle Left- Toss 1 scarf up with your left hand. Pass the 2nd scarf to your left hand from your right hand and toss it up. Catch the 1st scarf with your right hand. Repeat the motion.
Circle Leg- Toss 1 scarf up with your right hand. Pass the 2nd scarf to your right hand under your leg and toss it up. Catch the 1st scarf with your left hand. Repeat the motion.
Circle Back- Toss 1 scarf up with your right hand. Pass the 2nd scarf to your right hand behind your back and toss it up. Catch the 1st scarf with your left hand. Repeat the motion.
Pic from Mrs. Dwar @DwarPhysEd
4- Partner and Small Group Activities
1 Scarf- Toss and Catch- From a comfortable distance, toss and catch a scarf with a partner. Try tossing and catching with both hands.
1 Scarf- Round About- Using only 1 scarf, pass the scarf from your right to left hand and then toss it to your partner’s right hand. Your partner then does the same- keep this circular motion going
2 Scarves- Same Side- From a comfortable distance, toss and catch with a partner using 2 scarves. Toss the 2 scarves at the same time to the same side.
2 Scarves- Opposite Side- From a comfortable distance, toss and catch with a partner using 2 scarves. Toss the 2 scarves at the same time to the opposite side.
2 Scarves- Round About- Each partner starts with a scarf. Pass the scarf from your right to left hand and then toss it to your partner’s right hand. Your partner does the same, at the same time- keep this circular motion going.
Toss and Run- Each partner should toss their scarf up in the air. Then run fast to take the place of your partner and catch their scarf. Repeat.
Toss, Turn and Run- Face away from your partner. Toss your scarf up in the air. Turn quickly and run fast to take the place of your partner and catch their scarf. Repeat.
Short Line Relays- In short lines of 2 to 4, go 1 at a time to perform a challenging task using a1, 2 or 3 scarves (i.e. toss and catch up high or down low) and return from the finish line back to the start area.
Scarf Dance- Move and groove to the music while moving or catching 1, 2 or 3 scarves
The juggling scarf activity visuals depicted above can be found at Cap'n Pete's Power PE site located here
5- Juggling Progressions (X Patterns):
Juggling is performed using an “x” (or cascade) pattern- one arm at a time across your chest in an upward “x” motion
“X” Pattern Drop (2 Scarves)- SLOWLY toss the scarves in an X shape across your chest and let them drop on the floor- toss-toss
“X” Pattern Catch (2 Scarves)-SLOWLY throw the scarves in the X shape across your chest and this time catch them- toss-toss-catch-catch
“X” Pattern Cascade Pattern (3 Scarves)- Hold 2 scarves in one hand (with fingers facing down) and 1 scarf in the other. Toss the first scarf from the hand that has 2 scarves followed by a toss from the scarf in the other hand. The last toss comes from the 3rd scarf, released from your first tossing hand. Continue this motion
Adding juggling scarves to your physical education lessons can make them more fun and challenging. There are a multitude of activities that scarves can be used for, such as improving individual manipulative skills or playing games with partners or small groups. Because they are so versatile, you will have no trouble finding ways to incorporate them into your lessons. Keep your physical education class fresh and active by dreaming up new challenges and games using juggling scarves. You will find these 30 scarf movements, games and activities to be essential in your future teaching endeavors. The point is to get your students having fun while they learn and move.
Do you use juggling scarves in your physical education classes? What are some of your favorite activities? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!
*SHAPE America. (2013). National Standards for K-12 Physical Education. Reston, VA: Author.
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