The most effective way for preschool-aged children to assimilate knowledge is by being physically involved in the learning process. Everything Preschool maintains that "children learn by doing," so when trying to teach body parts, teachers can incorporate the topic into several lessons and demonstrations to make the learning fun, easy and memorable.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Large paper on a roll
- Paper plates
- Glue sticks
- Colouring and activity papers
- Homemade bingo game
- Books about body parts
Integrate songs and fingerplays about body parts into circle time. Children love music, and many songs get preschoolers up and moving, and learning about body parts. Two popular choices that most teachers know are "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" or "The Hokey Pokey." Fingerplays can also help children learn body parts. Preschool Education has several ideas, but one possibility is "My Wiggles." Children can move according to the rhyme: "I wiggle my fingers, I wiggle my toes. I wiggle my shoulders, I wiggle my nose. Now the wiggles are out of me, And I'm just as still as can be."
Use art supplies to create bodies and body parts. On large paper, trace each child's body. The child can then colour his body, including drawing in the eyes, nose, hair and mouth. For a fun activity to learn parts like arms, legs, hands and feet, cut the body like a giant puzzle, and the child can have fun putting his own body parts back together.
Another fun craft idea involves making self-portraits with paper plates. Provide plates, yarn, scrap paper, glue sticks and crayons for children to make their own faces and talk about the parts they need to include.
Play games that involve moving parts of the body. Simon Says is a great game for teaching body parts, especially the trickier ones like elbows and ankles. Teachers can also create a Bingo game with body parts like eyes, nose and toes. Adapt Pin the Tail on the Donkey by putting up a poster of a person, and play pin the ears on the boy, or pin the nose on the girl.
Read fun books about body parts. Reading should be an everyday activity in a preschool classroom, so set aside a collection of books that have anything to do with body parts. Some suggestions from Everything Preschool include "The Foot Book" and "The Tooth Book" by Dr. Seuss; "My Hands," "My Feet" and "My Five Senses" by Aliki; and "Even More Parts," by Ted Arnold.
Have children teach a friend the body parts they've learnt. Invite preschoolers to bring in their favourite doll, or stuffed animal for a day, and during that day, they will teach their "buddy" her body parts. A little girl can teach her baby doll where her eyes, nose and ears are to re-instil learning.
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