Hi, I’m Jeff Watkins, an adapted physical education teacher from Maryland. I’ve always been driven to find creative and accessible ways to engage all my students in physical education. That’s why I designed the DIY Scarf Blower System – a straightforward yet impactful tool that has been a real game-changer in my classes. In this blog, I’ll guide you through creating your own Scarf Blower System, making physical education more inclusive and fun.
- Enhancing Physical Education: The Scarf Blower System is a game-changer in P.E. classes. It helps students develop crucial motor skills like eye-hand coordination and timing. By controlling the scarf’s speed, instructors can tailor exercises to individual student needs, making it an inclusive tool. For students with disabilities or those requiring more focused developmental support, the system offers a controlled and safe environment to practice eye-tracking and catching skills, enhancing their physical education experience.
- Sensory Integration and Play: Sensory play is vital for cognitive and motor skills development, particularly for children with sensory processing disorders. The Scarf Blower offers a unique form of sensory stimulation, combining visual tracking with the physical sensation of catching the scarves. This type of play can be both calming and engaging, aiding in sensory integration therapy and providing an enjoyable learning experience for children of various abilities.
- Educational Applications:
- In physics classes, it serves as a practical tool to demonstrate airflow and aerodynamics.
- Museums can utilize it for interactive science exhibits, captivating visitors with its visual appeal and scientific relevance.
Step-by-Step Directions for Constructing a Scarf Blower System
- Purchase plywood from a local store (e.g., Home Depot). The type used here was either 58 or 19 302s.
- Get paint for the plywood; dark gray is recommended for good contrast with scarves.
- Obtain 2x4s for the base.
- Purchase wheels for the base, enhancing maneuverability.
- Acquire a blower (non-GFCI plug recommended to avoid tripping power links).
- Get tubing, ideally in longer sections (50ft is suggested over 20ft).
- Obtain pipe straps, pipe clamps, a flexible PVC coupling (4-inch), a blast gate, a T-connector, and a PVC cap (flexible).
2. Plywood Preparation:
- Cut the plywood to a size that easily fits into the back of an SUV for transport.
- Paint the plywood dark gray for visual contrast.
3. Base Construction:
- Build a base using the 2x4s.
- Attach wheels to the base to facilitate easy movement and transportation.
4. Blower Setup:
- Place the blower, ensuring it has a standard plug (not GFCI).
- Position the blower in a suitable location where it can be easily connected to the tubing.
5. Tubing Installation:
- Connect two sections of tubing if necessary using a splicer.
- Route the tubing as desired, securing it with pipe straps.
- Use pipe clamps at all joints for stability.
6. Airflow Control Installation:
- Attach a 4-inch flexible PVC coupling to the blower.
- Install a blast gate next to the blower to control airflow.
7. Scarf Insertion Point:
- Install a T-connector at the desired height for scarf insertion.
- Place a flexible PVC cap on the T-connector to prevent air loss and control scarf ejection.
8. Finalizing the Setup:
- Use half-inch screws for securing any loose parts.
- At the top of the tubing, attach either a 90° or 45° elbow, depending on the desired direction of airflow.
- To use, simply place a scarf into the T-connector and activate the blower using the switch.
Remember to adjust the blast gate to control the speed and intensity of the airflow, and ensure all connections are secure before use.
Support Our Mission As a note, some of the links in this blog are affiliate links. By using these links for your purchases, you’ll be supporting our mission to build more inclusive and educational devices for our students. Every little bit helps us to continue developing tools that make learning accessible and enjoyable for all students. Thanks for joining us on this journey!