Create-a-Kid

To implement this week’s theme “Body and Movement”, I didn’t have to look very far to find teaching materials. My son and I both have body parts, and they move, so that is what we used. I did, however, think it would be beneficial (and fun) to make a mini version of my son so we would have additional examples of what we were learning about. Having such a model, would encourage my son to make generalizations between concepts learned. In other words, he would learn that an arm and leg are parts of a real human being, but they also can exist on an image that looks human but isn’t real.

Here’s our little model…Toddler Activities

Here’s how we made it…

I gathered 3 large brown paper bags. I cut them each down the side and across the bottom so they would open and lie flat. I then placed them on the floor and had my son lay down on them. I traced around his head and torso with a pencil. I then traced an arm and then a leg–I had to work quickly because a 19 month old doesn’t stay still for long! Once completely done with the tracing, I cut out the pieces, added some color and taped everything together to form a little person. I then taped everything to a wall so our body would be on display.

Here’s how we used it…

My son really enjoyed “studying” the small character. He seemed to look at it for quite a while and would touch its different parts. I would ask him where certain parts were–the head, shoulders, feet, etc. He, at times would need prompting, so I would point to the part on my body and then guide him as he found it on our model. I would also take off parts and help him place them back on the model as we identified them. Overall, this was a fun activity that offered an engaging learning opportunity.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

As part of our weekly theme, “Body and Movement”, I had to incorporate this popular nursery rhyme. This song is so catchy and so appropriate for teaching little ones to identify parts of the body. I love that when sung with the motions, this song is so engaging for me and my toddler. It’s a great way to catch his attention when he needs redirection or when we have to wait for something. Check out this fun video that features the song. I love how it modifies the song a bit so it becomes somewhat of a game for me and my son…

From Head to Toe

Body and Movement Activities for ToddlersI recently turned to one of my favorite authors to help me teach my toddler about our weekly theme, “Body and Movement”. The book, From Head to Toe, is perfect for young children in particular because it features simple language, colorful images, incorporates animals and teaches how different parts of the body move. Reading this book with your child makes for an engagingly good time. I dare you to read it and not move along with it : )

Body and Movement Toddler Game

Body and Movement Toddler GameHere is a very simple game to play with a toddler. The rules are simple–the child will mimic what is being done. By doing so, the child learns to follow simple direction and important vocabulary.

“Mommy Says” is a modified version of the game “Simeon Says”. Because the original game involves thinking skills that are too advanced for my 19 month old, I changed the game to be more developmentally appropriate by omitting the “catch” (player is out if they do a movement that wasn’t preceded by the “Simeon says” phrase). To play, state, “Mommy says to…” and the child should do as stated. Actions should be simple as well as the movements. If the child needs support with following the direction, then show him/her the action as you restate it. Always give the child the opportunity to do the action independently first before providing the “answer”. This not only allows them time to think about what was said and should be done, but also communicates that they have a turn in the conversation/game. Examples include…

touch your nose

touch your eyes

touch your ears

bend your arms/knees/neck

As the child learns a few of the action words through repetition (e.g. touch, bend), incorporate other words to expand their vocabulary. Examples include…

stomp your feet

stretch your arms

wave your hands

wiggles your hips

 

 

Mr. Potato Head

This week’s theme was completely inspired by a recent purchase from the toy store. After months of searching, I was finally able to find a Mr. Potato Head here in Germany for my 19 month old son. Because he is learning to identify body parts and their movements, owning a Mr. Potato Head would only aid in his skill development. Plus, the toy is a classic (and inexpensive), so I was able to break my “never pay full price for a toy” rule. Now that we have had Mr. Potato Head for a week, I have to say that he really does live up to his name. Nathan has enjoyed mastering how to put the pieces into the small holes and we have had many fun moments creating new and interesting “looks” for Mr. Potato Head. Here is one that Nathan created with just a little bit of help from mom…

Toddler Activities

We actually ended up buying the Mr. Potato Head Tater Tub. It has more pieces, which means more options and more fun : ) Get yours today…