Step 1: Prep your squiggles.
Cut ribbons to 2 yard lengths. If you’d like, you can hide several pieces of the ribbon around your outdoor space for kids to find.
Step 2: Get inspiration from a story.
Step 3: Invite Play
Start by either inviting kids to look for squiggles in the space, or showing them the ribbon. Explain that these are not just ribbons, they are squiggles! Squiggles find places to go where they will appear bold and bright and that’s why they often can be found in the wintertime, pressed against snow or bare trees. They also love to move as much as possible when they’re out in winter so we’ll have to keep our eyes open to catch them.
Distribute several different strands of different colored ribbon to kids and encourage them to practice making the ribbons jump, dive, and twirl. Wonder, what could these ribbons become?
Step 4: Model the make believe.
Pick up a piece of ribbon and say something like, “What could this be? Hmm, I think mine is a snake slithering in the grass. Ssssss....” Maybe your ribbon is a rainbow leading to a leprechaun, an umbrella in a pretend rain storm or a the tail of your child’s favorite animal. Play out a few scenarios, moving your ribbon this way and that. Most kids will catch on and run with it.
Step 5: Let them play.
Just enjoy watching them play and, as they wish, participate in their pretending. If your winter backdrop tends to look duller where you live, you and kids can also hunt for spots of those ‘dull colors’ against which to place your squiggles to create that bold contrast.
Want more inspiration? Take a look at this super cute reel
of squiggle play in action created by @wildcalmsthechild.