Whether you are a working parent or one who is home with your toddler all day long sometimes it can be a little hard to come up with playful and fun activities to teach them a thing or two and to have fun interacting with you.
Have you ever watched a baby as they study intently their own hands? Or a watched a toddler as they lift up their shirt and discover they have a belly? Teaching the kids about their bodies can be a fun learning way to play together, especially when it involves music.
Music and Movement
Here are a few activities that I used with my own children and while teaching in the infant and toddler room of our daycare:
For infants try an adapted version of “Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Here’s how:
Softly touch, head, shoulders, bend babies knees and wiggle their toys while singing the song.
Toddlers may already recognize the song and if so, that’s even more fun. Sometimes tried and true works best and this version can be fun for you too. Together stand up and BOTH of you sing the song and touch the parts mentioned as they are sung. Stand facing each other, so your child can mirror your actions.
If you child is having fun, add in another chorus of this little ditty we added . . . ankles, elbows, feet and seat (your bum), feet and seat, feat and seat. Touch each part as you sing it and maybe even give a little wiggle of your seat.
For toddlers and preschoolers add in the Hokey Pokey. Not only are they learning about following directions, but parts of the body too and the all important difference between right and left.
Here’s a fun song and video to help you out -
Books and Movies
Jabari Asim’s “Whose Toes are Those?” and “Whose Knees are These?” Love this quote from the book - ”Ten little lovelies all in a row. Whose toes are those? Do you know?” My toddler and I would then for some number recognition.
Baby Einstein-Baby Da Vinci – Head to Toe. The girls can watch it in the back seat with minivan’s DVD player and be entertained by the classical music which includes the music of master composers Vivaldi, Bach, and Handel. There are also real life children representing parts of the body through play as well as the five senses. For extra “oomph,” there are segments on the DVD in not only English, but French and Spanish also, so if your child is in a “Little Amigo” class this will reinforce the vocabulary they are learning there.
If you want to pick up any of the items mentioned in these activities . . .