Scarf Surprise

Scarves are more than a fashion accessory - use them for easy-to-make, sure-to-please infant activities!



Learning Domains:

Social and Emotional Development; Motor Development

Materials Needed:

Tissue Box-cub-shaped (empty)
Silk or other sheer scarves or different shape blocks (cardboard, foam or wood)


Empty white and blue square tissue box

Use an empty cube-shaped tissue box. Gather a collection of scarves. Tie them together end to end. Stuff the scarves into the tissue box and leave enough material sticking out for an infant to grab. Create as many Scarf Surprise boxes as you’d like. They can have different color scarves, different textured scarves or different lengths of scarves for variety.



Square tissue box with a blue scarf coming out the topAdult supervision required when using these materials. Put one or more Scarf Surprise boxes in front of your infant. The curious infant will grab and pull. The reluctant infant will wait for you to prompt them. Watch the child’s expression. Do you see joy, surprise or delight? Continue stuffing the scarves back into the box and letting the infant repeat the activity until he or she loses focus.


Square tissue box with a green and purple scarf coming out the top Vary length by tying scarves together.

Square tissue box with a blue polka dot coming out the top Use ties with textures and patterns.


You might want to find a way to secure the box on a table, the floor or even on a wall for children to have this experience from different angles. Try the same activity by using the box upside down and making an x-shaped opening with a knife or scissors. This will cause the child to have to pull harder to get the scarves all the way out.

Vocabulary Boosters:

Here are some new words and phrases to introduce during this activity.

Pull-"Pull" the scarf out of the box
Stuff-"Stuff" the scarves back into the box
Surprise-"Oh-you're surprised to see such a long scarf come out!"
Color Names-Name the colors of scarves as they come out of the box