Teaching about Body Parts to Toddlers and Preschoolers

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A mother teaching her daughter.

It takes at least a few months after your baby is born for him to realise that the hands he sees are his own and that there are many other limbs that he can put to use. Gradually, he becomes more aware of the various parts of the body, which is quite fascinating for a little child. Understanding what each part is and telling others about it is important for young babies. Undertaking various body parts activities for preschoolers is an exercise that helps children to catch speed with the same. Not only does it provide a good starting foundation to build on to for the education to come, but it helps them get comfortable with knowing their own body and being confident in communicating various aspects associated with it.

When can you Start Teaching your Child about Body Parts?

 A mother talking to her two children.

There’s no specific age to start teaching your child about the parts of the body. Sometimes, your baby might tend to know the parts himself by listening to body parts song for children. These can establish in him making attempts to touch his nose when you touch your own. Babies learn a lot through mimicking sounds and gestures, and they will be able to identify many parts, even if they can’t name them on their own. Many kids learn to clap on their own, so associating that action with the phrase “clap your hands” can help them make the connection of which body part is used for which action.

Ways to Teach Kids about Body Parts

In order to teach about body parts, there are multiple fun-filled activities and body parts games for kids that you can make use of and help your little one begin taking tiny steps in understanding them.

1. Refer to Animals

Sometimes, kids may not respond to addressing their own body parts or somebody else’s due to repetition. You can opt for using animal soft toys or images and point out that even they have legs and eyes and noses. You can start showing the difference between some animals having a tail but not us. If you have a pet in the house, then nothing like it.

2. Make Use of Props

Give your child a small toy which he can use to point at. So when you say nose, ask him to point at his nose in the mirror or your nose. This can also be combined with a game using stickers. Give him a sticker and ask him to put it on your hand and see if he can do it the right way.

3. Describe Various Functions

Children learn a lot from first-hand examples. Make use of sensory perceptions to help them understand it better. Close your baby’s eyes and say out loud “eyes closed”, “eyes open” and so on. This will help them associate the act of seeing with eyes. Same can be repeated for other senses, especially for the nose, which can help him smell and identify different aromas.

4. Use Visual Aids

The visual perception of kids is the highest and they glean a lot of information from what they see. Use large posters of a human body or even cartoons and use those to tell him about different parts of the human body. As your child grows up, you can make the activity even more interactive. Get a large paper and draw the outline of a human body on it. Let your toddler then draw eyes in the right place, fingers on the hand, and so on.

5. Riddle Me This

You don’t learn much the first time as much as you learn when you need to recall it. Do the same with your kids as well and engage them in simple activities where you ask them questions related to their body parts. Simple things such as “wipe your nose” accompanied by your act of wiping your own nose, can help him understand what needs to be done.

6. Bring on the Music

If nothing else helps, memorization and repetition can break the barrier that’s holding your kid back from understanding body parts. If your kid likes a particular nursery rhyme or any popular song, replace the words with parts of the body and dance to the rhythm while pointing at those body parts and saying the words out loud in the tune of the song. You don’t need to be a lyricist to make it sound good. The aim is to use the tune as a tool of memorization and recall of various actions and body parts.

How can you Teach Kids about Private Body Parts?

Teaching body parts to preschoolers is usually restricted to the usual ones that we see. Rarely do parents teach kids about their own private parts. Most of the times these are replaced by nicknames so that they can easily tell us when they need to go pee or have any problems with it. However, it is majorly due to these nicknames that kids start developing a perception of shame and guilt when it comes to addressing the private organs they have themselves.

You don’t need to undertake sex education or teach them the difference between genitals of each gender at this age. But as your child begins to start saying words properly, you can teach the proper words of genital parts, such as “penis” and “vagina” appropriate to the child. Let him address the part by its right name. It is necessary for parents to be comfortable with it as well. If you cringe at the mention of a name that is absolutely normal and is the right word for it, your child will start developing an attitude of looking at private parts with disgust. As your kid starts growing and starts noticing general differences between genders, such as clothing styles, hair length, and so, you can then introduce them to the genital parts of a different gender and keep it at that.

Teaching body parts to toddlers or young kids brings its own set of challenges. Many kids do learn to point to the right parts or indicate their presence in different ways. It is necessary to bundle up private parts along with these as well, so as to not build up any sense of confusion or doubt in the child’s mind about the existence of a body part he does not understand. The less awkward you make it for yourself, the better your child will develop as a well-rounded individual.

Also Read:

How To Teach Toddler to Brush Teeth
How to Teach Colours to Toddlers and Preschoolers
Ways on How to Teach your Toddler to Speak

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