learning body parts

Off to School Toolbox: Where Are Babies From?

Before kids start school, it’s important that parents answer the question where are babies from, rather than have someone else give the information. Uncomfortable as it might be, parents need to establish themselves as the “go-to person” when kids have a question, instead of letting kids ask someone else.where are babies from

Another issue is the correct names for all body parts. Some people feel reluctant or embarrassed about this,  but it is part of protecting children from sexual abuse. When kids use the correct words, they give the message that they can talk about their bodies and have good basic knowledge. Children also need to learn that all body parts are equally special, including the private parts of the body, that is, those covered by underwear or a bathing suit.

Sometimes though, when children know these words, they talk about them in quite public places. Once children begin to have an understanding about privacy, talk to them about private and public spaces and remind them to talk at home or in another private place.

To help protect from child-abuse, sexual health educators use the words of safe touch, unsafe touch and secret touch. Safe touch can be good: such as hugs, bouncing, holding hands, washing and wiping, or yucky: like pulling out slivers and getting stitches. Unsafe touch includes hitting, kicking, biting, and kids usually know this kind of touching hurts others.  Secret touch or private touch is for adults only. If parents have discussed this with young children they have a better understanding of boundaries and have the words to tell us if there are any problems. For children’s safety and well-being these are fundamental issues to address at home before kids come to school.

healthy sexual development for kidsBooks are a great resource. There are some excellent puzzles, too.
Altho they are more expensive, there are anatomically correct dolls.  These can help make talking about sensitive issues much more natural. Just as an aside, boys can also play with dolls. Sometimes, giving a boy a boy-doll is more acceptable for those that have concerns.

Learning is compromised during stress, especially for children when the brain is growing. Feeling comfortable in and with your own body can reduce some of the stress and aid learning.

Have you talked about these concerns with your child?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Hearts & Other Parts, Part 3

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?

Readiness for Kindergarten – Hearts & Other Parts, Part 2

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.

reading-body-bookSome 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.



Readiness for Kindergarten – Hearts & Other Parts, Part 1

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.” … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Hearts & Other Parts, Part 1