I’m not sure what it is with all the 3′s but today’s post is 3 suggestions for toys when it comes to learning about hearts and other body parts.
Kids learn through play and a doctor kit stimulates all kinds of learning. In addition to some specific words for different body parts, there’s lots of talking and using language, taking turns, exploring cause and effect, role playing, problem solving and taking care of the body. As little ones pretend, they are stretching their imaginations and making lots of brain connections.
Puzzles are another great toy. They are available in just a few big pieces for little ones or many small pieces for children who love to do puzzles. They stimulate visual and tactile skills as kids play and learn with body puzzles and encourage both attention to details and attention span. Putting in the last piece is a special feeling of accomplishment. (Thanks to Raising a Happy Child at Mouse Learns, Mouse Grows blogspot.)
Magnetic dress-up dolls are not just for girls. Kits are available for boys, too, with a boy soccer player and a firefighter . As with a doctor kit, these encourage language and imagination and fine muscle coordination.
Children learn through play. While having fun with these and other toys, kids are developing more than kindergarten readiness. What are some other ways to learn about hearts and other parts?
As mentioned in Part 1, you can’t beat February for learning about hearts and other body parts.
Another way to help young children learn about bodies besides songs and games is with books. Any bookstore will have lots of stories about bodies, from board books with only a few pages, to Dr. Seuss to The Magic School Bus. I love some of the titles: Germs Make Me Sick, From Head to Toe, A Drop of Blood and Gene Machines. Some of the books can be very specific, like Everyone Poops and Have A Nice DNA.
Some kids are fascinated with pictures of skeletons, blood vessels and organs and will choose books to look at by themselves; some are only interested for a very short time. But basic knowledge about bodies is important for health and safety not just readiness for kindergarten. When reading the book with your child, you can make it interactive by having your child point to the same parts on his/her body as are in the book. For kids who have a good basic understanding, mix up a few words so that you can be “corrected”. Kids love to share jokes and develop their sense of humor, too. Does this idea tickle you?
P.S. Thanks to Raising a Happy Child at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns blog for the super photo.
You can’t beat February and hearts for learning ideas, (pun intended:). Today’s activity suggestion uses hearts and other parts.
Very young little ones enjoy playing the game where adults ask them to point to parts of their face even if we have to supply the answers, “Where’s your nose?” “Here it is. That’s a nose.” Later they can say the words when we point either to them or to ourselves. Older kids can add some other parts like hand, foot, tummy, head, neck, knee, etc. As children are able, we can introduce more words too, such as shoulder, elbow, chin, cheek, eyebrow, forehead and others.
To help kids learn about bodies and parts there are fun songs like Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes. Make up some additional verses–Hands and Fingers, Hips and Ankles–whatever you like. The Hokey Pokey can have endless verses. Simon Says is a fun game to play using words for parts of the body, too. If English is an additional language for your family, these simple songs help for language learning. (Reminder to Self: Look on Youtube for a Spanish version. This will give me some fun and easy practice as I learn another language. )
Learning about bodies helps for kindergarten readiness. Some typical readiness for kindergarten questions will ask kids to name body parts. This gives an idea of children’s background information so teachers know where to start to interest kids at a comfortable level. How many body parts can you and your child name from head to toes?