One of the wonderful things about toddlers is they are developing independence and becoming more self aware. They are able to use their bodies to accomplish an increasing number of skills such as running,
jumping and feeding themselves. They are also beginning to label and classify objects so naming and recognising their body parts is a skill they are often keen to learn.
This is an activity I spontaneously did one wet wintry afternoon with Miss M when she was approximately 18months. It was such a success and something she really enjoyed that I was eager to also do it with H man.
Learning Opportunities/ Outcomes: Body Awareness, vocabulary, Fine motor development, social interaction
Appropriate Ages: approx 15-28months
You Will Need: Large sheet of butcher paper, crayons or pencils, some interesting stickers, your child!
What To Do:
1. Say to your child that 'we are going to make a drawing of your body' and ask them to lay down on the paper. Show them the crayon or pencil and say that you are going to trace around their whole body. Talk about the parts of the body as you trace around, for example, 'here we go around your head, past your neck, over your shoulder and down your arm.' You may wish to show them how you do this by tracing around your own and their hand to start with.
2. We then hang 'our body' onto the easel but you can easily keep it on the ground or hang it on a wall or window. Start by drawing on the parts of the face. Your child may wish to do this on their own or you may like to model it, getting them to help. Judging by my attempt you do not need to be an artist!! Your child may also wish to draw on clothes, socks and shoes etc. Be sure to use plenty of modeling language as you interact with your child, 'here is the head, what is it missing? That's right, we need to draw some eyes etc' Be sure to point out all the parts of the body.
3. Next I got out the stickers. Most toddlers get really excited about using stickers so it's a great motivation. Ask your child to place a sticker on various parts of the outline body.
If your child requires a little help with this you may like to stick a sticker on their actual tummy and then give them a sticker to stick on the tummy of the outline body.
Be sure to start with body parts your child is very familiar with so they experience success, then move onto more challenging parts. Be sure to offer plenty of praise and encouragement throughout!
Here's H mans finished body!
Can you see all the parts he was able to identify?
Extend on This:
*Have your child stick stickers on your various body parts- they'll love it!
*Sing songs like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and sing it again and again changing the body parts, Put your finger on your nose.
*At bath time give your child a washer and ask them to clean their various body parts.
*Decorate your body outline. Add hats, socks, scarves etc and talk about clothing and what parts of the body they go on.
Be sure to supervise your child at all times while they are using the stickers so they don't become a choking hazard.
Play and Enjoy