6-12 Months: During this period, while giving your baby a massage, playing finger games, singing songs or rhymes etc. you can name the body parts and be consistent in using English while doing this.
(song) Daddy finger, daddy finger where are you?
(Song) Head, shoulders, knees and toes
(while massaging) Now, lets cuddle your legs a little, onto your toes, let’s massage each toe gently…
However, infants show more interest to people’s faces since human voice and facial expressions are quite tempting for them and they discover it is important to understand verbal and nonverbal clues especially through faces to communicate with others. That’s why, it would be meaningful to start naming parts of the face. What we basically do is, while the baby is sitting on our lap facing us at a distance she can touch our face, we name each part (eyes, nose, mouth, head, ears, teeth, hair, eyebrows, cheek, chin). We introduce 2-3 at a time and as the baby masters them we move onto the next few parts in a couple of days.
- Touch your nose and say “nose”, “my nose”
2. Touching baby’s nose and say “nose”, “your nose”
3. Take the baby’s hand and help her touch your nose and say “my nose”
4. Help the baby touch her own nose and say “your nose”
12-18 months: As most toddlers are more mobile, even walking during this period, it would be sensible to choose activities that involve a lot of moving around. While practicing naming body parts, we could stand up with the baby and take turns to touch our head, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, stomach, legs, knees, toes, feet.
16 + months: 16th month is generally a mile stone for most babies as they become more mobile and cognitively aware and alert. Most show a lot of interest in speaking too. They love singing and dancing. The songs and dances below are the classics for learning body parts
Song: Head, shoulders, knees, toes (with actions)
Song: Hockey,pockey (with actions if the toddler can walk properly)
Song: Finger family (with actions)
Song: Dingle dangle scarecrow (with actions)
In Montessori, toddlers can be introduced with a body jigsaw at this age. Below is just a commercial one, but an age appropriate one in terms of complexity. We can easily produce it at home but while making it please make sure you don’t make it more complex than this.
While presenting it seat the baby on your left and model assembling the jigsaw parts first naming each part. Next, put all body parts back and ask the child to put the arm into the right place, then name the other parts and ask the child to complete the puzzle. As they get older and master this, they wouldn’t need any instructions while completing the puzzle. The puzzle should remain on the shelf for a good 2 weeks.
No child is ready to complete these activities masterfully from birth. It takes time to set these presentation routines. It may not work for the first couple of times but if you remain consistent in the way you present the material children get used to it. Toddlers are toddlers it’s rarely the right time for it 🙂 And if it’s not the right time, let them go after you tidy up.
Make sure you present such activities when they are not hungry or sleep deprived or exhausted 🙂 In fact, kids participate in such activities really well after breakfast until around 11:30. If you set morning routines for presentations like these, it would be great.
Repetitive & FUN at ALL TIMES
Make up chants for yourselves such as below:
eyes, my eyes / my eyes, my eyes, my eyes/ blink blink (with actions)
eyes, your eyes/ your eyes, your eyes, your eyes/ wink wink (with actions)
head, my head/ my head, my head, my head/ flip flop (with actions)
head, your head/ your head, your head, your head/ nod nod (with actions)
nose, my nose/ my nose, my nose, my nose/ wiggle, wiggle (with actions)
nose, your nose/ your nose, your nose, your nose/ sniff sniff (with actions)
hands, my hands/ my hands, my hands, my hands/ snap snap (with actions)
hands, your hands/ your hands, your hands, your hands/ clap clap (with actions)
Visit this website for more fun songs about washing face, brushing teeth etc. I loved this collection of songs.