12 Ways to

Use a Ribbon Stick



  • Play Write Your Name. To learn how, watch this video from Teaching Movement to Performers of All Abilities. Download the lesson plan, too!
  • Follow the leader. Give each student an opportunity to lead. Mirror their movements.
  • Practice hand-eye coordination and focus. Toss the ribbon into the air, along to the beat of a song. Begin with a slow tempo and then move at a quicker pace. Check out this playlist for a variety of tempos.
  • Explore quality of movement. Ask your students to move their bodies in a way that mirrors how you move the ribbon – either short and choppy, or slow and connected. This is a great way to develop proprioception.



  • Play Who Are You. Encourage everyone to create their own character by using the ribbon as a costume piece or prop. For instance, the ribbon can be a sword, tail, magic portal, or rainbow. Offer this choice board when more support is needed.
  • Incorporate a text. Allow the student to move the ribbon in a way that expresses what is happening in the story or poem you are reading aloud.
  • Symbolize the “energy” in a scene. As tensions build in a scene, slowly increase the pace at which you move the ribbon. When the scene climaxes, quickly move the ribbon between and around the scene partners. When the scene resolves, or a character resigns, return to slowly moving the ribbon until it comes to a complete stop. Finish by asking everyone to take a deep breath.
  • Play This is Not. Gather in a circle and give the ribbon to one student. The student practices pantomime, choice making, and creativity by saying, “This is not a ribbon, it’s a [fill in the blank.]” The student then passes the ribbon to the next person in the circle who repeats the phrase with their own choice and action. For instance, the student could pantomime singing and say,  “This is not a ribbon, it’s a microphone.”
  • Enhance your curtain call. End class by asking your students to stand in two lines that face one another. Give everyone a ribbon to wave, creating a “tunnel” that each student can walk through before taking their final bow. Use this playlist to set the mood!



  • Teach dynamics. Wave the ribbon high when you want your students to sing or play loudly. Wave the ribbon low when you want them to sing or play softly.
  • Explore vocal style. When you move the ribbon short and fast, students speak or sing with clear enunciation and articulation. When you move the ribbon slow and connected, students speak or sing the phrase smoothly. After exploring the different ways to deliver a line, ask the student to move the ribbon in a way that matches their tone as they speak or sing their line.
  • Practice breath support. Breathe in while raising the ribbon up, and breathe out while lowering the ribbon down. Repeat 6-10x. Enhance the activity with nature sounds to create a grounding effect.

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