A fun way to help your child learn about pathways is to use ribbon sticks.

ribbons1You can buy ribbon sticks, or you and your child can have some fun making your own! Here are some simple directions:

  • To make ribbon sticks you will need an 18-inch-long, 1/4 –inch-diameter wooden dowel stick, a double sided fish swivel, some fishing line, and 9 feet of cloth ribbon 1-1/2 inches wide.
  • Drill a small hole in one end of the stick and attach the fish swivel to the stick using approximately 4 inches of fishing line.
  • Fold over one end of the ribbon about ¼-inch and sew it to keep it from unraveling. Fold over the other end of the ribbon and sew onto it a 1-inch square of cardboard, similar to a note pad backing. This keeps the ribbon from tangling. When you sew the cardboard onto the ribbon, include a piece of fishing lime, which you attach to the swivel. The ribbon stick is now completed.

Make several ribbon sticks and ask your child’s friends over for music and ribbon sticks. Practice the following activities to assist your child to understand the concept of pathways. Point out the different pathways the ribbon makes as it moves. For safety make sure your child has lots of room to move as she makes pathways in the air with the ribbon.

  1. Wipers – In this movement, patterned after the motion of windshield wipers, your child moves her hands and arms from right to left as the ribbon flows back and forth high in the air in a curved pathway.
  2. Circles – “Hold the end of the stick and move your hand and arm in a large circle in front of your body. Can you make circles at your side? Can you make a circle over your head?”
  3. Floor Sweeps – “Move your ribbon from side to side on the floor in front of you. Can you pretend that you are sweeping the floor?”
  4. Fishing – You child uses the ribbon stick like a fishing pole. She raises the stick into the air and slightly behind the head, then bring the hand and arm forward as if throwing a fishing line into the lake.
  5. Squiggle Down – This movement is similar to fishing except when your child brings the ribbon forward they should shake it in a zigzag path from above their heads down to the floor.
  6. Snakes – You child will love to watch the ribbon move like a snake on the floor. Ask your child to put the ribbon on the floor in front of them and then walk backward as she moves the ribbon back and forth in a zigzag pathway.

After you and your child explore the movement pathways that can be made with the ribbons select music and develop simple routines to do with the ribbons. Include marching songs so you and your child can move the ribbons in various pathways as you march.


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