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Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes: Learning about Body Parts

Most of us remember learning about body parts with the song, “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” but children grow more aware of their bodies as they develop. Babies discover their hands when they are manipulating toys, notice their feet when they’re able to grab at them and bring them to their mouths, and learn about other body parts during daily self-care (e.g., brushing teeth, washing face, combing hair, etc.). Here are some fun ways of helping your child learn about their body parts.

  • Create gross motor dice with basic body parts (e.g., arms, legs, head, fingers, etc.) and various movements (e.g., twist, shake, bend, etc.).

  • Paste parts of the face (e.g., eyes, nose, ears, mouth, etc.) to a blank face template.

  • Trace your child’s body on a large piece of paper and have him draw in missing body parts.

  • Play “Simon Says” with your child and ask her to touch, point, wiggle, and or shake body parts.

  • Cut out body parts in magazines and play the matching game. Have your child match one leg from one picture with a leg from another.

  • Cut out a potato and body parts from felt. Have your child place body parts onto Mr./Mrs. Potato Head.

  • Sing and dance to songs including “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes;” “The Hokey Pokey;” and “Rub-a-Dub Song.”

  • Create a homemade book. Include pictures of your child and family members. Cover body parts using flaps and encourage your child to find specific body parts.

  • Read books about body parts. Examples include: “Is this my Nose?”; “Here are my Hands;” “My First Body;” “Toes, Ears, & Nose! A Lift-the-Flap Book;” and “Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A first Book All About You.”

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