One of the skills that this age child is learning is Fast and Slow. Because their little heartbeats are so much faster than ours, their movements are fast compared to ours. In order to teach them slow, flowing movements (essential for their later flow in reading and speaking) we can introduce fast and slow in Nursery.
Here is a youtube video showing a slower song using a scarf. (The sheet music for this song about the Holy Ghost is available on toteachachildasong.com. These songs were reviewed by a member of the General Church Music Committee. She asks that we first get local Priesthood approval to use these songs in Nursery since they have not been published church wide.)
Children need manipulatives to extend their body and increase their interest. Scarves are a great tool. Because they are gentle and quiet, I often use them with more gentle songs. We swish them across the body (crossing the midline).
Children are making places in their brain for each of their body parts (body placement), so that is another great use of scarves. “Can you put the scarf on your shoulder?” “Put the scarf on toes!” When I call out, “Hide the scarf behind your back,” the youngest 18 month old children often look at me, then look at others. They are still learning object permanence, which means that when an object is hidden from view, the brain still knows the object exists. The three year olds will wad the scarf up in their hands behind their backs. I ask, “Where is the scarf?” and invariably one of the children will grin and pull out their scarf saying, “Here it is!” That always brings a smile to my face. We then sing the song again, waving our scarves to the beat. The break in the flow of the song by putting the scarves different places on the body challenges this age of child, and renews their interest in the activity. Singing the song again is exactly what I know they need, and this gives them a renewed interest in waving the scarves and doing the song again.
Here are some songs that work well with the scarves (I’m sure you will find others.): I Lived in Heaven (especially effective if used with freeze and start), Tell Me the Stories of Jesus, Heavenly Father Gives Colors to Us, and the Holy Ghost (as seen above).