A game of cat and mouse barley
Mouse barley! That smooth-rough grass. Do children still put a seed head up their sleeve and let it magically climb all the way up to the top all on its own? Here's another little game to play for a toddler.
Rest a head of mouse barley in the palm of your hand, smooth surface pointing away from you. As you say the rhyme, stroke your finger along the 'mouse', which will start to work its way towards your fingertips. When the 'cat' says 'meow', use your thumb and forefinger to flick the little mouse into the air, 'right up the stair'.
And if there's no mouse barley to hand, take baby's hand in yours and stroke baby's palm, then run your fingers up her arm and tickle her ear:
There was a little mouse Who sat in a chair, When the cat said, 'Meow',
He ran right up the stair!
(Traditional rhyme, illustrations by Rachel Fuller © Playsongs Publications)