Two lessons about the body – in preparation for going to the doctor.

Today was a doctor’s visit day, so yesterday’s lesson and today’s lesson were about bodies. I try to attach our lessons to something we are going to do, so that he learns before we do. Since the doctor’s visits were today, we studies about our bodies and doctors for the last two days.

Body Chalk

Everyone remembers laying down on the cement and having a friend, teacher, or sibling trace them. This is a great activity for toddlers. My son traced me and I traced him. I also traced our four month old. Then he had to run around. When I said “head,” he had to jump on a head – anyone’s head, but it had to be a head. We did it with all the body parts.

Then we drew white lines inside our bodies for the “bones.” We talked about how we drink milk to make our bones strong so they can hold us up and we can play games and have fun outside. Our snack was milk and yogurt. Both of which are good foods and high in calcium – which is what we were talking about.

Remember that these lessons are for preschool (almost 3) aged children. You cannot talk about calcium and its importance – although you can mention calcium. Instead, it has to be geared towards a preschool-aged child. In this case – milk does a body good, and why.

After our snack we went outside and worked on some letters related to our bodies. We wrote our names above ourselves, and sounded them out. Once the names were written, he spelled them out. He is good at identifying letters and their sounds, so we practice them this way. When I wrote my name – Mommy – I then had him spell it (m-o-m-m-y), and sound out each letter.

He was then in charge of picking body parts (head, feet, legs, arms, hands, stomachs) and telling me what each one started with. I wrote the letter on the body part. He then got to draw faces on each person, and their hair. He got the hair colors right (brown and red), and the eye colors right. This was great practice for him to draw lines and circles and shapes (he made our noses triangles). This type of drawing will help him develop the small muscle control he needs to write letters.

We went inside and read “Farley Goes to the Doctor” four or five times (it is an old Sesame Street book from when I was younger).

So ended our lesson about our bodies for day one.

The Body – Day 2

Our second day was much more haphazard than the first. We sang “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes,” a few times, and even made up different verses (Fingers, Elbows, Legs, and Tummies). This was music, dance, and fun all in one. We also did the Hokey Pokey and put as many things “in” as we could find. I never thought you could put your ankles in and out, but it turns out he thinks you can. This lesson was a reinforcement lesson. It reinforced the names of the body parts and where they are on your body. But instead of repetition (doing the same drawing as yesterday), we had fun with it. It works wonders.

Then we played a version of doctor. He got all his stuffed animals out and lined them up. The he pulled out his doctor toys and “doctored” each animal. It was interesting the variety of problems the animals can have, and how he solved them. One elephant had a peanut stuck in his trunk. So he took the tweezers to get it out. When the dog complained of a headache, he asked for some ice for the dog’s head. This lesson helped him remember what was going to go on at the doctor’s office. It also had him work on his problem solving skills and verbal skills. When he couldn’t think of a solution, he asked for help. Instead of giving him the solution, I asked “What do you think would work?” He came up with a solution all on his own after that. Twelve animals later, he was ready to move on.

We looked at a book about muscles. I checked a book out from the library on the human body. We talked about how muscles help us do things like kick balls. We spent some time kicking balls and strengthening our muscles.

The day finished with reading the book on the human body, followed by “Farley Goes to the Doctor” again. Toddlers love repetition.

These were our lessons on the body. Nothing complex, nothing expensive. We simply used what we had to explore who we are. He amazed his doctor talking about bones and muscles today. I felt good he remembered something.

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