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Scientific Inquiry: How Toddlers Learn About Body Parts

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Scientific inquiry is a core part of the Vivvi learning model, and being able to identify body parts is a big part of early childhood education. This is because our little ones learn mainly through something called ‘sensory discovery’ which occurs by moving through and experiencing the world. With each new awareness of their bodies and physical abilities, they will become more conscious of other things that they can do, see or explore. Our bodies serve as a toolkit for new discoveries about the world around us!

Let’s look at how you can help your children learn about the body and each of the body parts. 

Why Learning The Body Parts Is Important For Early Learning

Being able to identify body parts is important for children because it allows them to start developing a sense of body awareness. Toddler body awareness is the ability to recognize where your body is in space. It’s an important skill to cultivate for children because it helps them understand how to relate to objects and other people at home, at school, or outdoors. 

For instance, proper body awareness allows us to recognize how close to stand next to someone or how far to reach for an object. If an individual has trouble with body awareness they can appear to be clumsy, uncoordinated, or have delays in motor skill development. You can help your child’s body awareness develop through playing games that center around identifying body parts, getting them to mirror you, or by practicing spatial awareness such as hiding a toy and having them look for it. 

Learning body parts for toddlers can begin around 4 to 6 months, however as your child grows it is crucial to help them become more aware of their bodies. Scientific inquiry that is incorporated into early childhood development programs that include the use of fine motor skills and body awareness activities is an important way to help develop your child’s understanding of their own bodies as they grow.

How Toddlers Learn About Their Bodies:

It can take your baby a few months after they’re born to realize that the hands and feet they see are their own. Gradually, they will become more aware of the other limbs and various parts of their body and develop gross motor skills, and these can be fascinating discoveries for your little one. 

There is no specific age you should start teaching your toddler about the parts of their body. Sometimes, they can learn them on their own when listening to songs about body parts for children, like the hokey pokey. Infants and toddlers learn a lot through mimicking sounds as well as gestures, so you might see your baby copying you when you touch your own nose. 

Here are a few other ways to teach body parts to your toddler:

Using Props 

You can give your child small toys or props they can point with. If you ask your child where the nose is you can ask them to point at their nose in the mirror or point to your nose. This can also be done by using things like stickers. You can ask your toddler to put a sticker on their hand, for example, and see if they have learned where other body parts are as well. 

Learning Songs

Songs are another great way to help your toddler along with learning their body parts. If you find that your child is fond of a particular nursery rhyme or any other popular song, try replacing the words with parts of the body and dance while pointing at those body parts while singing to the song. 

Using Visual Aids

Children receive a lot of information from what they see, so using a visual aid is another great way for children to learn body awareness. You can utilize large posters of the human body to point and show different parts of the body. As your child grows, you can make the activity more interactive by having them draw eyes or fingers in the right spots.

Being Active

Using active, real-life examples is another way children can excel in their learning. You can make use of sensory perceptions to help them understand these concepts better. You can close your toddler’s eyes and say “eyes closed”, and then “eyes open”, etc. This will help your child associate actions with different body parts. 

Understanding Body Awareness: Why Scientific Inquiry Is a Core Part of Vivvi’s Learning Model

Vivvi’s environments foster learning and growth to help develop body awareness. Our inquiry-based Learning Model, which builds curriculums around each child’s age and interests, highlights their best traits, boosts their confidence, allows them to meet their developmental milestones head-on. 

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