It’s so important to teach littles how to care for their bodies, even at a young age, so this week I decided to do several activities that are healthy body focused. My older little is learning about the body systems, but even young toddlers can start learning how to do things like brush their teeth, care for boo boos and choose healthy foods to eat…so without further adieu- here’s body week!
–B is for body: Our letter of the week this week was B. I had my little make an uppercase and lowercase B by placing dot stickers on this letter B do-a-dot printable.
–Body part Simon says: My littles both loved this game (which for some reason we’ve never played before!) Basically I would give them instructions involving a specific body part like “Simon says scrunch your nose” (or stand on one foot, or spin on your bottom, or wiggle a finger, or blink your eyes and so on) and they’d follow directions. It seems simple, but it builds knowledge of body parts, vocabulary and direction following skills all in one fun, silly game! (Traditionally the game calls for you to leave out the “Simon says” part here and there and if someone still does the action they’re out, but since this is a toddler activity and only two kids were playing we skipped that part! I did give my preschooler a chance to play Simon while his brother and I followed his directions though, which he found delightful!)
–Boo boo man: Who has a kid who LOVES Band-Aids? Mine both do and want one for every little bump, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to learn about why we use Band-Aids. First I traced my little’s body on butcher paper and cut it out. Then we decorated it with some shorts, a face, and lots of boo boos. As we worked we decided he got all those boo boos from falling off his bike- ouch! We talked about how sometimes boo boos make a tear in your skin and the blood comes out- that’s when you need a Band-Aid to keep the blood from getting all over the place- and to keep germs from getting in your body. Then I gave my littles some Band-Aids and let them cover up Boo Boo Man’s ouchies. This was great fine motor practice, especially for my toddler!
–Hand “x-ray”: I traced my little’s hands with chalk on some black paper then put some glue where the bones would be. I had him glue Q-tips down for the bones. (My preschooler did his own tracing and gluing.) In hindsight we should’ve used white crayon in lieu of chalk so it wouldn’t smudge and then lightly colored it in so it would look more like a real x-ray like the example from Snippets, but it still came out great!
–Lung mosaic craft: For this one I just drew a lung shape on a piece of cardstock, placed some glue in the lungs and gave my little some red and pink squares to glue inside. As he worked we took some deep breaths together and talked about how your lungs are in your chest and your lungs are what you breathe with. I got this idea from Simple Everyday Mom.
–Decorate (and use!) your own stethoscope: Talk with your little about their heart and how it beats to move blood all around their body. Then, have them decorate a toilet paper tube (we colored ours with markers, then added stickers) to make a stethoscope. When they’re done, take turns listening to each other’s hearts beating by placing the tube over their heart and putting your ear up to the hole.
–Healthy food color sort: I gave my little a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables (just use whatever you have in the fridge!) and we talked about how your body needs healthy food to grow and be strong. We sorted them into fruits and vegetables first, then I had my little sort them by color.
–Caring for your teeth- brushing: Can I just say this activity from Pinterest was a huge hit with both of my littles? They did it over and over again! So to do this activity, I just printed out a large clipart mouth then tucked it in a page protector (they work better for dry erase stuff than laminating…so weird!) then pretended the owner of the mouth was eating salad while coloring the teeth in with a green marker (I switched up the food according to what color I was using- you don’t have to do this, but my littles thought it was hilarious). Then I had my little practice “brushing” the teeth clean with a real toothbrush (we just used a spare we had on hand from the dentist!)
–Caring for your teeth- flossing: This one was a little more tricky for my younger little because it requires some pretty honed fine motor skills- in hindsight, I would use pieces of balled up tissue paper between the Lego teeth rather than playdough, which was really sticky and hard to get out! So basically, you just tuck balled up tissue paper in between the teeth of a large Lego Duplo block and show your little how to floss them out with a pipe cleaner- then let them give it a try! I got this idea from Sugar, Spice and Glitter (cutest blog name ever, right?!)
- colorful healthy food
- butcher paper
- paper towel or toilet paper tube
- old toothbrush
- tissue paper or playdough
- giant Lego
- dry erase marker
- page protector