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A toddler’s discovery of his or her body parts can seem to be a natural process to parents. This is true, of course. But parents can do their bit by engaging in activities to promote body awareness in toddlers. They can enhance and quicken the way to self-discovery.
Have you ever wondered why your newborn calms down as soon as he sets his eyes on you? Sometimes, a mere touch or a slight hum is more than enough for him to go back to sleep. This is because your child senses your smell and finds solace in your touch. In fact, this is the first stage of body awareness and it enhances manifold with time.
How Body Awareness for Kids Develops
The ability of your child to know your touch and smell is an unconscious one. However, the first major awareness for him comes when he discovers his hands and their ability to hold things. This later graduates to the discovery of his mouth when he successfully manoeuvres his favourite toy towards it. That is when your tot learns coordination of senses and how it works.
As time passes and he grows, he learns newer things like crawling and walking and thereby discovers other body parts. When he begins walking, he gains spatial awareness and can come up with his own ideas to get things done. So, if you see your tot moving a chair and then trying to climb on it to reach a cookie jar, you should be happy that he’s learning body and spatial awareness!
Body Awareness Activities for Toddlers
1. Massaging Body Parts
You can actually start imparting body awareness lessons from a very early age. The daily massages that you give your child to strengthen his bones can also help in enhancing his sensory awareness. Choose a time when he’s wide awake to do this.
2. Singing It out
One of the best ways of helping your toddler to develop body awareness is by teaching him action songs that require pointing out different body parts. You can even come up with some fun songs of your own. Start off by singing them and acting them out. With time, he’ll be able to point out all his body parts.
3. Dressing up Quiz
Dressing up is one of the best times for explaining body parts to toddlers. As you dress him, talk about the different body parts. Tell him that he needs to raise his hands to pull down the t-shirt, or that socks are worn on the feet. Later, ask him questions like where he wears his socks and how he puts on his shorts.
4. Finger Painting
Finger painting is loads of fun and is also another great activity to promote body awareness. Get down on all fours with your toddler and using your fingers and colours, start painting on a sheet of paper. Within no time, your little one will be a willing companion! It’s a wonderful way to enhance sensory awareness and subsequently, body awareness.
You can come up with different games where your child is required to use different body parts to complete them. Just use a little creative juice!