Jenette Clay is a blogger, SEO content and podcast show notes writer. She loves dancing with her little kids and annoying her older ones. She admires Janet Stephens and all that she has done as a wife, a mom and owner of Bear Paw Creek.
Have you ever danced with ribbons or watched someone else (whether they were dance professionals or your kids in your living room)? Here’s a list of songs and activities you can use with kids and in elder care.
The effect of the fabric streaming out behind as you move is fascinating and adds dimension to motion – ramping up the fun quotient exponentially.
Hold an impromptu dance party in for your kids
Giggles, pirouettes, motion music
Purple…chasing blue…chasing gold overlap in dancing ripples
A final bow
Collapsing into piles of laughter and smiles
Granted this would be a scene in my living room, not a well-organized class or a performance at the ballet, but ribbons and scarves, music and dancing are a feast for the senses. Have you ever seen a Chinese scarf dance (or the dances with dresses which have the long silky sleeve ribbons)? The dancers move gracefully as their arm movements cause the ribbons to ripple around them like water or twirl above their heads cascading back down again as they weave a tapestry of color on the stage. It is mesmerizing.
If you’ve ever danced with ribbons or scarves, you know how much fun and fascinating it is to see what shapes your motions can conjur up. You don’t have to be a professional to enjoy it.
[Tweet “Ribbons and scarves, music and dancing are a feast for the senses.”]
I’ve got some resources for you!
If you need ideas to for activities to get people moving in elder care, at school, for youth groups or in your living room, I have a line up of links to get you inspired. I also have a list of activities and songs you can use with scarves and streamers that you can print out and take with you. Very handy!
So, here we go:
I like the fabulously fun and creative Beverly Meyer. She calls herself The Music Lady and you can watch what she does here, onYoutube, to see what a blast kids and adults can have singing and dancing together.
Miss Jen, Children’s Librarian, sings All the fish are swimming in the water (illustrating a song that makes great use of the effects in the movement of the scarves.) on Youtube
Here is a great Pinterest Board with plenty lots of video suggestions for songs and activities using scarves by curated by Dana and Lindsey, Children’s Librarians.
Great for the church nursery and for moms at home. I found this, on Youtube – perfect for babies and toddlers.
One of my favorite songs is from Macaroni Soup, Dancing Scarf Blues! It’s pretty jazzy and I think would be a great resource for activities directors involved in Elder Care. Brighten up the lives of people in nursing homes by getting out a batch of beautiful scarves and putting on some music to dance to.
Take a look at those sites, get the list, and tell us what you think. How long has it been since you’ve danced with ribbons, streamers or scarves? How long has it been since you’ve danced with ribbons, streamers or scarves? Do you have some songs or activities to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you and have you add your suggestions to mine!
Jenette is a freelance writer of web content, blogs, and podcast show notes. She is also a wife and imperfect mother, whose family mean the world to her. She has a high respect for business owners and entrepreneurs of all kinds. She enjoys helping them tell the story of their company, products, and services, connecting them online with those who would like to find them by the written word. You can find Jenette’s business website at www.mywordsforhire.com.
How long has it been since you’ve played with bean bags?
Let me point you to some indoor and outdoor bean bag games you can play this summer.
While I’m at it, I’m going to talk about a great website I found while researching for this post, and encourage you to think outside of the box in terms of who can and should make use of these colorful movement props.
Summer’s not coming, it’s here!
Join me in discovering ways to make use of this versatile and tactile movement prop for fun!
I love bean bags, so do kids; doesn’t everyone?
Honestly, I love just tossing a bean bag back and forth between my hands or pretending I can juggle with them (nobody gets hurt and no fruit gets bruised when I toss bean bags around instead of apples). I love the way the bean bags feel, I have always been very tactile and bean bags just feel good to me. If you watch kids playing with and handling them, you can see that I’m not the only who feels this way (yes, pun intended).
Last month I purchased a set of Bear Paw Creek bean bags and took them down to the church; it came in a handy drawstring bag (which I love). When I gave it to the kids in the Sunday School class, you would have thought it was Christmas. Big smiles all around!
Our kids have a great Sunday School teacher who has cut a hole in a box, letting the kids use it as a bean bag target (or paper airplane target).The problem was, they only had two bean bags and they were getting pretty sad looking.
The drawstring bag filled with colorful brand spanking new bean bags was a hit. I had to make them promise to leave them on the shelf until their teacher gave them the green light to break them out! It was with regrets that I left those there, now I’m thinking I need to buy another set for myself (and maybe let my kids play with them too).
A dozen bean bags and that simple box with a hole gives the kids something to look forward to after sitting still for their lesson.
It also keeps the class from becoming a free-for-all while they are waiting for their parents after church. It’s a small room and a small class, but surely you know how crazy a few bored kids in a small classroom can get, I don’t need to tell you right?
So the bean bags and box target game, let’s them move, play and have fun without descending into chaos.
[Tweet “Who doesn’t like bean bags? “]
Taking the dread out of recess and summertime; inserting the fun!
As I was doing research for bean bag games and activities I came across this site, which fascinated me. It fascinated me because I thought, “Of course!” I love it when someone comes up with a beautiful solution to a problem which is doable and make so much sense. Recess gives kids vital time for getting out, enjoying sunshine and being able to move, but it can also be chaotic and an oportunity for bullying and trouble.
Playworks was developed to help educators take the dread out of recess and make it a time of fun and learning for the kids. I love this quote from their about page:
Recess should be fun and energetic and safe and inclusive for everyone. Isn’t that what we want for all kids in elementary school today? When recess becomes a healthy, integral part of the school day, kids carry that positive experience with them beyond the playground.
One of the ways that they accomplish this is through planning games and activities with a purpose in mind. Later I’ll be sharing their list of six games using bean bags (The second on their list is my favorite because of how it encourages empathy and teamwork.) Since summer is a three month recess of sorts, I thought it would be good to look at their tips. Also, I know you teachers are already keeping your eye out, looking for ideas for the coming school year.
[Tweet “We can change this. Recess should be fun and energetic, safe and inclusive for everyone.”]
Your links to fun activities with bean bags (not just for kids).
Before I share the links for these games, I want to encourage people to think beyond kids for these bean bag activities.
I recently read this article Exercise Programs: An Important Therapeutic Tool,from Nursinghome.org by The Illinois Council on Long Term Care’s website. They emphasize that lack of exercise by the elderly in nursing homes is increasing their fragility. They call for regular exercise programs to help them keep their strength, balance, flexibility and mental acuity. Many who are involved in elder care seek fun ways to encourage their clients to move and be active. Bean bags are able to be tossed from a standing or sitting position (for those in wheelchairs), feel good in the hand, and can be used in a variety of setting. Consider any of the games listed here and determine how they might be used with grandparents or in an elder care setting such as a nursing home.
So, here are seven links to activities and games to do with bean bags:
Don’t have any bean bags? No problem, do what I did and order them from Bear Paw Creek. I think I may even need to order another set to have here at home (maybe I’ll get the textured set). One thing I love about Bear Paw Creeks sets is they are machine washable, so you can use them inside or outside. How do you use bean bags? Do you use them at home, at school, at church? Or maybe you have used them in for adults in an elder care facility. If so, we would love to hear from you and have your favorite bean bag activities in the links! Thanks, and enjoy your summer!
Janet is the creator, seamstress, and entrepreneur behind Bear Paw Creek. This blog will feature a behind the scenes look at our business and focus on sharing creative ways to use our products.