Our Christmas story
“Once upon a time there was a little girl called…” Tell your child about themselves, focussing on their successes: how they tried and tried until they learned to roll over; how they used to pull themselves up on the side of their cot to build their muscles. Bring some festive cheer into it – “Last Christmas, you unwrapped your first present.”
As you chat to your baby, press your nose and pretend you’ve been muted. To your surprise, you keep mouthing words, but no noise comes out! Press again, and you can make noise again. For tiny babies, get close and gently move their hand onto your nose to ‘mute’ you. Act surprised every time! Older babies may be able to reach for your nose themselves – or use your ear as the button instead.
For babies, trace festive words like “Rudolph” on their tummy as you chat with them. For wee ones able to sit up/stand and scribble, say shapes, letters and numbers as you trace them on their back. Make an offer: “Can you draw on my back and I’ll guess what you’re drawing?” As they draw on your back, draw what they do on paper (or whatever else you have). Copy them as closely as you can – slow, fast, swirly, dots. Swap over if they’re up for it.
Jingle Bells Jingle Poo
Change the words of favourite Christmas songs (like Jingle Bells) to try make each other laugh. Babies and young children react to funny faces and voices as much as the lyrics. Pause halfway through a line and see if your child makes their own suggestion – even the baby shouting “GAAAAH!” can be funny! They’ll soon get the idea.
Turn the music on but instead of dancing try tiptoeing around like Santa does on Christmas Eve. Vary the shapes and moves you make. Ask, “Which body part do we lead with next?” and let your wee one decide – they may tell you with words, pointing or gesturing. Give lots of feedback: “That’s your head, shall we move with our heads?” Name body parts and show you’re paying attention to what they’re telling you.