Keep Calm with Stories, Songs and Rhymes this Festive Season

The holiday season is often fuelled by excitement. Children’s energy levels peak as they feed off the hype of the 'extras' - extra treats, extra visitors, extra activities and, most importantly, lots of extra fun!

For adults, the holiday season can be a time of joy, but also one of stress. There seems to be so much we should be doing and it’s very easy to get caught up in attempts to replicate the perfect Christmas that we see on TV and in magazines. As family schedules fill up with never-ending to-do lists, places to go and people to see, it’s important to try and set aside some unplanned downtime for children and to make sure you leave a few minutes a day for stories, songs and rhymes.

It’s important to try and set aside some unplanned downtime for children

If you can, also try to leave some time for unstructured free play. Take a few minutes to follow your child’s lead and engage in an activity of their choice. It’s in these moments of play - building towers, dressing up, drawing, doing jigsaw puzzles or whatever your children enjoy - that they will feel relaxed and able to chat. Chatting about what is going to happen, or has happened, is a great way to reinforce routines and structures, especially as these often get relaxed during the busy festive period.

As children are still learning to regulate their emotions, adjusting to lots of new situations and people can really take its toll and make them feel unsettled. Even though they’re caught up in the magic and the moments, it can still be overwhelming.

Spending a special few minutes curled up reading a story, singing a song or saying a rhyme can help children feel calm and secure

Spending a special few minutes curled up reading a story, singing a song or saying a rhyme can help children feel calm and secure. These few minutes a day can help you and your children stay connected throughout the chaos, and it’s a great way to help children wind down after a busy day. A reassuring cuddle also works wonders for children! 

If you need some song and rhyme inspiration, be sure to check out Bookbug’s Song and Rhyme Library. And remember that at this time of year, a story, song or rhyme is the best possible gift we can give to children.