Using a Giant Scrunchie

Dance Scrunchie
Rainbow Scrunchie

I’ve recently introduced giant scrunchies to my classes.  “Oooh, what’s one of those?” do I hear you say?  Well, it’s exactly as it sounds – just like a hair scrunchie (or hair tie), it’s essentially an elastic band covered in fabric – only larger.  I first saw one in use in my native New Zealand around 20 years or so ago but I have found them less common in the UK.  In fact they seem so rare in the UK that I couldn’t find one to buy and had to resort to getting the sewing machine out and stitching up my own version, pictured above (of which I am VERY proud!).

Giant scrunchies are a fabulous aid for circle time from babies and toddlers right up to pre-school and KS1 (7/8 year olds).  Both visual and tactile they draw the children in and encourage them to work together.  In an earlier post I described using the scrunchie for Row Row Row Your Boat  – here’s a chant I use for a static song with a rowing action:

Row, children row
As out to sea we go
With a strong push…. [lean forward pushing the scrunchie into the centre and hold]
And a strong pull…  [lean back, pull the scrunchie out as taut as possible and hold]
Row, children row.

For circle songs and dances a giant scrunchie is invaluable.  It keeps the children moving together, with a defined shape.  I have written several songs for using the scrunchie such as Rainbow Marching (which you can listen to here and watch here) and also use traditional songs such as Ring a Ring a Roses and Skip to My Lou with variations to the words.

The rainbow scrunchie is particularly useful in a nursery or pre-school setting but do be aware that any marching in and marching out of the circle needs to be carefully controlled or the children can become over enthusiastic!

For baby classes I have a sensory scrunchie with different textures and colours.  The children love to hold and feel the movement of the scrunchie; and even if they’e not holding on they can see the colours and shapes it makes when in use.  As the children are non-mobile I use gentle rocking songs such as See Saw Marjorie Daw and My Rainbow Ring Goes Up and Down (to the tune of Mulberry Bush).

Simple but effective – a giant scrunchie is lots of fun!

9 thoughts on “Using a Giant Scrunchie

  1. caromorrismusic 29/03/2013 / 6:58 pm

    I want to make a giant scrunchie! Can you tell me what kind of elastic you used? Should I use bungee cord or will that be too stiff? Any tips?

    Many thanks,

    • Rhythm Express 29/03/2013 / 8:04 pm

      I used dressmaking elastic, 18mm (3/4″) wide. I did think about using bungee cord but thought it could create safety issues if stretched too tight and then pinged back! So far the standard elastic has worked fine.

      On my ‘to-do’ list for the Easter break is write a blog about making the scrunchies as I’ve got to make a couple for some pre-schools to use. Hopefully it’ll be posted sometime next week.


  2. Liz Thorpe 05/04/2013 / 6:14 pm

    Thanks. My Easter project is to make a giant scrunchie and I was going to ask the same question about elastic! Mine is going to be made out different fabrics – different colours, patterns and textures. Wish me luck!

  3. Kimberly 21/04/2013 / 2:47 pm

    I love this idea! I am in the U.S. and have never heard or seen of these. Can you tell me how long you made yours and how many children are able to fit around the scrunchie? Thank you!

    • Rhythm Express 21/04/2013 / 4:47 pm

      I used a 9 metre length of elastic – I can fit 20 children around this comfortably. Have fun using one if you decide to make one – they’re so useful!

      • Kimberly 21/04/2013 / 9:55 pm

        Thanks so much. My class is a small group of toddlers. We use the parachute often however, I have run into the problem of them wanting to lay on top of it! I am hoping the scrunchie will resolve this. Making one today 🙂

  4. Kelly 02/05/2013 / 11:41 pm

    Just wondering how much material to use in relation to length of elastic? I’d hate to join all those little pieces of material together and then find its not really scrunching!

    • Rhythm Express 03/05/2013 / 12:26 pm

      At least twice as long as your length of elastic e.g. 9m elastic would require a 18m length of fabric. For smaller scrunchies I use more fabric, sometimes up to 3 or 4 times depending on how dense and stretchable I want it to be.

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