The cold winter is now upon us; a celebratory sparkle hangs in the air with the spirit of Thanksgiving, Diwali, Christmas, and other ancient festivals descending upon communities across the land. This magical time is enhanced when experienced through the eyes of your babies and young children. Having ideas to engage together in musical play will help nurture all those important developmental milestones at once. Babies experience and learn everything in multi-sensory ways. They watch, touch, wiggle, murmur, explore, often all at the same time, to make sense of their world, and to develop all important life skills to regulate feelings and manage new experiences. Try the musical play below to help kids dress for winter in a playful manner.

Helping Kids Dress for Winter

Even before we step outdoors there is much wrapping up to do. Not just of those thoughtful gifts for family and friends but of clothing ourselves and our babies against the bitter cold. Mothers and fathers need the patience of a saint to persuade Baby and siblings to wear a coat, hat, booties and mittens before venturing out. Then there are bags, strollers and other important items to gather up in readiness for a festive outing. How about a little musical lightness to help? Musical play can do much to support routine activities, lighten the mood and provides wonderful vocalizing opportunities too.

Shoes and Boots

Try this playful little chant to lighten the moment when getting ready. Do you have a problem putting their shoes on? Gently try using their booties as a train!

“Choo choo” each bootie along from the other end of the room, going up and down, round and round, then eventually reaching the wiggly foot’.

Then the other goes off too, on a magical mystery journey round the other way, “choo chooing” along until it reaches its destination.

If your child is older, try doing the same with your own shoes first, before embarking on theirs.

Coats, Hats and Gloves

Coats and gloves are always troublesome, not least, because we are still inside, cozy and warm! Here is a fun song called Up I get to enjoy and help kids dress for winter. Adjust the words to fit your clothes as you busy yourself putting on coats, scarves, onesies, and gloves.

‘Wake up, get up, shake everything

What shall we wear today? SHOES!

Put one on, put the other on, are we ready to go?

Oh noooooo!’

Hats!

Hats are my favorite thing. They provide great opportunities for Peekaboo games, can be worn as miniature pyramids or a bowl. Before putting your hat on Pop goes the weasel is easy and fun to adapt as a peekaboo song to encourage baby to keep their hat on. Hide your face behind baby’s hat whilst you sing.

Round and round the cobbler’s bench
The monkey chased the weasel
The monkey thought it was all in fun
Pop goes the weasel

Show your face on the last line, then pop Baby’s hat straight on Baby’s head as you end the song.

If your baby still resists wait until the eleventh hour when you step outside, reciting this poem with the same tune as Pop goes the Weasel. The musically playful distraction combined with a changing temperature is often enough.

Hands are cold! Head is cold!     (rub hands, gently rub baby’s head)

Icy winds are blowing.               (gently blow baby’s head)

Hands in bed! Hat on head         (hands under blanket, hat on head)

And soon we will be glowing!     (give baby a big hug!)

The End of a Day

A holiday outing or party is multi-sensory with sparkling decorations, the sound of bells, song and cheer, the delicious hue of cinnamon, hot chocolate and muffins in the cold sweet air. So much stimulation can be exhausting for your baby. What better time to sing a lullaby as the evening falls and bedtime beckons. Christmas is here again is a sweet song to listen to (my song reached No.1 in the Baby Charts during lockdown!). Or try the traditional, much loved Twinkle twinkle little star to sing or hum along as you gently navigate your baby into that tricky twilight hour between play and bedtime slumber.

Check out my album, Christmas Kids and more baby songs on Spotify. Merry Christmas and happy singing!

About The Author

Emma Hutchinson Founder of Music House for Children; music and language developmentEmma Hutchinson is a music specialist in early childhood. She advises families and caregivers on the significance of musical play to nurture early social, communicative and learning outcomes. Emma’s runs her charitable school Music House for Children providing lessons and has devised resources and training for families, early years settings and specialist units. Follow Emma on Instagram. She regularly contributes to research and public papers.  For all questions or continued advise contact Emma here.