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Baby Play at Christmas Time

Baby Elliott is absolutely fascinated with Christmas! He gravitates towards the Christmas tree almost every minute that he’s awake in an attempt to pull at tinsel and explore the shiny baubles.

To help him explore the wonder of Christmas safely, i’ve set up a number of activities for him recently and thought that you might like to try them too…

1. Christmas Basket

I put together this baby safe basket with a green, red and white theme. Included are:

  • Happyland advent calendar toys
  • A crochet snowflake
  • Grimm’s teether with ribbon attached (just make sure you double knot a tie securely)
  • A knitted Santa – made by my wonderful nanna when I was a baby.
  • An eye-spy bottle with dyed rice and pompoms.

Sensory baskets mean that Baby can explore a small range of items with an element of choice. I find that when loads of toys are out, Baby E gets overwhelmed so these little baskets are a winner.

Best for: babies who can sit up

2. Sensory Bottles

Christmas means lots of small, shiny things which can be problematic with a mobile baby around.

Help baby explore safely by putting mini baubles, beads, jingle bells and ribbon into clear bottles. These are from Innocent smoothies but Voss bottles work really well too.

Best for: babies with strong head control – this makes for a great tummy time activity.

3. Christmas Lights

Pop battery operated, LED fairy lights into a Tupperware box and you’ll have yourself an activity that will keep baby occupied for ages!

These lights are low-heat but do just check your own to make sure they don’t get too hot. You don’t necessarily have to use Tupperware either. Clear bottles and takeaway containers make good alternatives.

Best for: younger babies as a tummy time activity or for older babies who are comfortable in the seated position.

4. Bow stick

If your baby is confident in a seated position, try the ribbon stick!

Simply stick ribbons onto a door (or even a cardboard box) for baby to pull off. Aim to use the larger ribbons and supervise constantly to avoid baby putting items in their mouth.

Best for: mobile babies who can sit or stand.

5. Bauble exploration

The clear baubles that are available in craft shops are just brilliant for exploring small materials safely. Even better is the fact you can add them to the tree afterwards!

My three-year-old helped me make these so they couldn’t be easier. Simply place baubles, buttons and jingle bells into one half, then close it up. I’d also advise that you glue the halves together too.

Best for: babies who can sit comfortably.

Safety first!

As always, please don’t do these activities without constant supervision. Check items for loose parts and don’t let baby put any of the pieces in their mouths.

Need more?

Check out the Christmas section of the website for more ideas!

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Jingle all the way…

Miss almost three is just starting to believe in the magic of Christmas. She now knows who Santa is and dances and sings to any Christmas song that comes on the radio.

That’s why the idea struck to make this incredibly simple dance ribbon ring for Miss Z. I’ve been struggling with crafty inspo recently as we’re currently staying in the UK with my parents and I’m not really able to do as much crafting.

Since having Baby E in April, I’ve had to simplify a lot. In fact, it’s exactly why Heidi from The Harmony Tree House and I established Everyday Play Hacks. The dance hoop featured here uses items from around my parents house along with Christmas decorations.

You will need

  • Assorted ribbon in Christmas colours
  • Jingle bells
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Scissors

Method

1. Cut ribbon to size. I used 100cm of ribbon that was then folded I half and tied in a double knot onto the embroidery hoop like so:

2. Thread on a jingle bell and tie again in a tight double knot. You don’t want your pre-schooler to be able to pull the bells off.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have filled the bottom section of the hoop. We used 6 pieces of ribbon in total but ours is a fairly large embroidery hoop!

4. Use a large ribbon to hide the screw at the top of the embroidery hoop. However, you could always remove the large outer circle first and avoid the need to cover the screw altogether – I only thought of this after I’d tied all the ribbons on!

Safety first!

Never leave your child unattended with homemade play things. Check the knots before and after play just incase any have come loose.

Some more Christmas ideas from me:

http://www.teachinvestigateplay/Christmas

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Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

You might’ve gathered by now that we absolutely LOVE a good pompom craft! After going a little crazy with packs of Christmas themed pompoms recently, we really had to put them to good use! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is one of our favourite Christmas songs, so we decided to make a door decoration in his honor!

If you also have far too many pompoms or want to go out and buy far too many pompoms, here’s our photo guide to making Rudolph. This is such a great activity for slightly older children or ‘tweens.’ My 9 year old was in his element…

You will need:

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  • Cardboard (for face, ears and antlers)
  • Coffee cup lid
  • Brown pompoms – we used approximately 160 of various shapes and sizes.
  • Red pompoms – around 20 should do the trick!
  • Googly eyes
  • Gold or brown paint
  • Christmas ribbon
  • Chenille sticks / pipe cleaners in gold or brown
  • Low temp glue gun
  • Glue stick refills – around 5, depending on the size
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors

Step 1:

Cut some cardboard into an oval shape (the hole in ours was already there, so don’t worry about that part!) Then use a glue gun to fix a coffee cup lid in place as the nose – this is so Rudolph’s nose sticks out from the rest of his face!

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Step 2:

Affix brown pompoms with the help of a glue gun. If you have an older child in your house, get them involved – my 8 year old does love to use the glue gun!*

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Step 3:

Once you have filled the face with brown pompoms, use the reds to cover the coffee cup lid. Rudolph should be starting to take shape now!

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Step 4:

Now it’s time for our all time favourite craft resource, the googly eye! Well, you’ll obviously need two of them unless you want to go for an alternative ‘Cyclops Rudolph’ look!

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Step 5:

Cut out teardrop shaped cardboard pieces for the ears and glue the pointy end to the back of Rudolph’s head.

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Step 6:

Cover the ears in yet more brown pompoms!

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Step 7:

Use a craft knife to cut out cardboard antler shapes*.

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Step 8:

Paint the antlers gold or brown and leave to dry. We opted for a sponge brush to create a slightly stippled look. Once dry, you can opt to decorate with chenille sticks (as shown in the cover image).

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Step 9:

Attach antlers to the back of Rudolph’s head.

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Step 10:

Fix a ribbon to the reverse of your Rudolph so that you can hang him up on a door or even the wall. Then stand back and admire your awesome creation!

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If you like this craft, we have plenty of other Christmas ideas on the website. Just click on the links for more….

Christmas Activities for Toddlers

Gift guide for Toddlers

Cute Christmas Pompom Wreath

*Even with older children, please always be mindful of safety. I remind Harrison every time not to touch the glue itself as even though our glue gun is supposed to be low temperature, it still really stings if you accidentally get burnt! In our house, we also consider the use of the craft knife to be very much an ‘grown-up’ job too.

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Easy Peasy Rainbow Rice


Rainbow rice is a wonderful way to introduce sensory play to your toddler. It’s both cheap and easy to make, yet will provide hours of fun. We first started making this with Zoey when she turned one and we felt confident that she wouldn’t just eat the rice! Continue reading Easy Peasy Rainbow Rice

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The Creative Play A-Z: F.A.Q

If you’re on Facebook and Instagram, why do I need to buy this book?

Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest only provide a snapshot of play ideas. The Creative Play A-Z guides you through activities step-by-step and provides information on the educational benefits.

Buying the e-book also gives you access to an exclusive Facebook group where verified purchasers can discuss and share ideas.

What age group is this e-book designed for?

The book is generally aimed at children in the 2-4 age group. My 2-year-old daughter has been fully engaged with all of the activities featured, but you will know best when your child is ready for these activities. Continue reading The Creative Play A-Z: F.A.Q