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Click for Activity Central Encourage youngsters to discover what their bodies can do and how to keep their bodies healthy with these early childhood activities.
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Health and Human Body
Youngsters discover that their bodies are made up of bones during this activity by Debra R.

Materials: An enlarged picture of a human skeleton and colored math sticks or  toothpicks.

Description: I have a skeleton hanging in the classroom near the area we call the doctors office or hospital which we make and decorate from a large TV box.
Inside, there is a examing table, which is really a children's changing table with a baby on it. I also have a children's medical cart, which includes band-aids, cotton balls, real x-rays, craft sticks and gauze. 

For centers, I have a doctor center. Children sit down, a few at a time and we review about the human skeleton and then I give them the enlarged picture sheet, the sticks and glue. They are so thrilled when they are done.

Comments: Do not give them any very small items, which they could place in their 
mouth and they must be closely supervised.

The  Body
Enoka S. offers several activities to help youngsters learn the parts of the body.

Materials: A large roll of paper, pencil and scissors.

Description: Take large roll of paper. Draw the outline of a child lying on the 
paper. The teacher or child draws the parts of the body; the head, the face, arms, shoulders, legs and feet. Talk about the different parts of the body and  teach the following song;

Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes, knees and toes;
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose;
Head and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes.
Teach the plurals: Two hands, two arms, two legs and two feet.
Teacher: Move your arm.
Children move only one arm.
Teacher: Move both your arms.
Children move both arms.
Practice with the other parts of the body.
Game: Play this game with cut out parts of the body.
  • Place colored parts of the body in the middle of the table.
  • The teacher calls out "Take an arm."
  • Children have to quickly take the right part of the body.
  • Teacher: "Take two legs" and so on.
Art Activity: Children make a funny collage by cutting out different parts of the body from magazines and sticking them together to make a funny picture.

Play another a game: Use all the parts of the body learned so far, such as head, shoulders, knees, toes, arms, hands, legs, feet, eyes, mouth and nose.

Teacher: Touch your knees.
Children touch their knees.
Teacher: Touch your feet...your nose etc. (using singular and plural.)
Teacher: Claps his or her hands and says: "Clap your hands",
Children repeat the words and clap their hands.
Teacher snaps his or her fingers and says: "Snap your fingers" etc..
Teacher continues by saying: "Clap your hands, Snap your fingers,
Nod your head, Stamp your feet" etc.
Song: "If You're Happy and You Know It"
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it and you really want to show it,
If you're happy and you know it clap your hands.

Next verses:
2.   If you're happy and you know it, Snap your fingers...
3.   If you're happy and you know it, Nod your head...
4.   If you're happy and you know it, stamp your feet.....
5.   If you're happy and you know it, say O.K...
6.   If you're happy and you know it do all five....

What Our Bodies Can Do!
Viya S. helps older preschoolers discover what their bodies can do while learning
new vocabulary words (verbs) and creating sentences.

I drew people doing different actions: running, ,jumping, swimming, crawling, walking, sitting, etc.

First we played an action game with the familiar tune: Here We Go Looby Loo. Then I asked the children "What can the parts of your body do?" There were very
different answers and we tried all of the movements. 
We had prepared cut out shapes: circles, rectangles- narrow and long and short. .I showed on the board what happens when we bend our knee or hand or turn around so that you can't see a face.
.I placed the shapes together to make a person.  Later they drew pictures of their friends, or fathers and mothers. They also drew other things like balls and chairs. Some youngsters drew ropes, dogs, swings and slides. 
Children in my group can already read and write so it was easy to write sentences
such as: I like to run, jump, swim, slide, and so on.

Comments: This activity can not be done is one day, but it is very enjoyable
because the children name so many things that our bodies can do.

Here is an Sensory Art Project.

Paint on a child's feet.
Put the child's feet on paper facing opposite way.
Draw an antennae and it makes a butterfly.

Write this poem under it.

Beautiful Butterfly,
Precious and Sweet,
Strange how it looks just like
_____'s FEET!!

Children compare the different sizes of their feet (seriation) during this early childhood activity from Lisa K. 

Materials: Roll of butcher paper, paint, children in their bare feet.

 Description: We read The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss and then each child removes his or her socks and shoes and steps into a small area of paint.  They then step onto the butcher paper and make their foot prints.  We look at all of the sizes of prints and then compare the sizes.  Once the feet are dry we cut them out and put them in order by size.

Comments: Children love to step into the paint and see who's feet are smaller or
bigger. In advance let parents know about this activity by sending a note home or speaking to them.

Fantastic Feats with Feet
During this early childhood activity by Christine S. the children will use their feet to pick up objects.

Materials: Variety of sized materials: ie. marbles, pencils, blocks, basketball,
baseball, etc.

Description: The children will predict if they can pick up items with their hands,
feet, neither, or both. Some items may require 1 or both hands or feet. Take turns
observing who can do what with their hands and feet.

Hand & Foot Flowers
Young children build fine motor skills and practice tracing outside an object during this activity by Joyce.

Materials: Construction Paper in green and desired flower colors.

Description: I trace the hands and shoes of the children (older children can
trace their own or work with partners.  Partnering makes this a great lesson in
co-operation as well)  Children can cut out their own hand and footprints,
or I cut them out for younger children. The hands then become the flowers and the feet become the leaves.  Just add a green stem.

I've also used this activity with painted hand prints.  I use a large paint brush to paint each child's hand in a color they choose, then print the hand prints on white paper. I cut around the painted hand prints and use them as a spring bulletin board

This is a great tactile experience and the kids just love having their hand painted.  I like it because it provides me with an opportunity to spend a minute or two of one-on-one time with each child

Finger Flicks
Christine S. suggests this activity saying, "The child will predict which finger is most accurate when flicking small items."

Materials: small items to flick (checkers, marbles, etc.)

Description: The child will flick items with the finger they predicted would flick the furthest. Talk about the distance (far, farther, farthest) when compared to other children. Talk about which finger is the strongest (strong, stronger, strongest).

Staying Healthy
Help pre-schoolers  understand the importance of taking care of their health with this early childhood activity by Cathy P.

Materials: Spray bottle with water and a tissue.  Hotel sample size shampoo, a bar of soap and pocket size tissues.

Description: I am fortunate to have a sister who is a nurse. She comes to visit dressed in her nurses scrubs and talks to the students about eating right, getting a lot of sleep and washing hands. Then she talks about how germs are spread by people who cough and sneeze without covering their mouths or noses with tissues.

She then does a demonstration by spraying a fine mist of water and explains that those are like droplets of water that come out of ones mouth and nose when one sneezes or coughs and get in the air for others to breathe and possibly catch their cold if they are ill. Then she holds up the tissue and sprays again. The tissue stops the "germs" from spreading and she immediately throws the tissue in the garbage. 

The children all know to "catch" their sneezes and coughs with a tissue! She then passes out their own individual baggie with a bar of soap, tissues and shampoo. The children are delighted! 
Comment: I have been able to get local hotels to give me soaps and shampoo and 
pocket packs of tissues for each child when I have explained that it was for my preschool class.

Elaine M. suggest this activity to guide children in self care when sick.

Materials: Paper plate, crayons, white paper, tissues.

Description: I have a song to share with the children when a lot of coughing and
sneezing is happening in the classroom.

 In this house, (form roof with arms above head)
 There is a room (hold hands parallel in front of you,)
 And in this room there is a bed (bend left arm at elbow and fingers of right
 hand touch left elbow)
 And in this bed is a little teddy bear (make circle with fingers of each hand and
 place on head for ears)
 With a very bad cold in his head (tap head)
 With a very bad cold in his head (tap head)
 Now if this little teddy bear (ears)
 Stays in bed and he takes care (elbow, fingers for bed)
 Very soon he'll be running all about, (fingers move)
 With no more cold in his head (shake finger back and forth)
 With no more cold in his head (shake finger back and forth)
 Ah, CHOO!

At this point, we consider how to make sure the germs do not go flying all over
to get other people sick, use tissue to cover nose and mouth and wipe fingers;
"Where do we put the kleenex when it is used?"

Comments: For craft; use crayons or scraps of paper to create face for teddy with paper plate as his face.  Cut out ears.  Cut strips for arms and glue a tissue at end of one arm.

Boo Boo Bear
Amy C. suggests this activity, for Toddlers and three year old children, to encourage the concept of helping others along with some  simple fine motor skills.

Materials: Brown, black and pink construction paper, glue and  band aids.

Description: Cut teddy bear shapes from the brown paper and eyes, noses and
mouths from the black and pink paper. Draw dots on the bears where each facial feature will be placed.

Give each child a bear shape, two eyes, a nose and a mouth and go through gluing
the features on together.  Talk about where our (or the bear's) eyes, nose and
mouth are.  Show the children where the dots are and talk about where the features belong, but allow them to put their bear's face together however they choose. Place bears aside to dry.

At circle time give each child their bear and a Band Aid.  Encourage the children to discuss how they feel when they fall and get a  "boo-boo" and the things they can do for their friends when they fall.

Tell the children their bears fell and hurt themselves and ask them what they
can do for their bears. Let them decide where their bear's boo-boo is and place the Band Aid on it.  Encourage them to console their bear.

Comments: I use this activity with both a toddler group and  3 year old groups.
I hang the bears on the wall @ the children's eye level and we refer to them
often when handling a situation where the children aren't being very good friends.
It is a good way to bring back that lesson's theme whenever it is needed.

Story and Sensory Motor Activity 
Tammy B. offers this pre-k activity saying, "Children will listen to a story and use
their sensorimotor skills.  Good listening skills will  be demonstrated by doing the

Barney and Baby Bop Go To The Doctor  from the "Barney To Go" series of books.

Teachers read Barney and Baby Bop Go To The Doctor. Then have the children stand and play "Doctor See, Doctor Do"  (Idea from Monkey See, Monkey Do).  Use body parts, for example: 
Doctor See, Doctor Do, I can touch my head, how about you? Continue using other
body parts. 

Comments: My children loved this activity! 

Self Awareness Game 
During this activity by Missydee children will expressively and receptively identify
body parts. 

Materials: A large pre made person with small pieces of velcro on different parts of
the body, band aids with a small piece of velcro attached to the back,  small 'playing
cards' with pictures of body parts on them. 

 Description: Children take turns reaching in a bag and pulling out a card and  saying
                 "I found a _____" and then putting a band aid on that body part

Body Tracing
Try this preschool and kindergarten activity by Darlene J. to help youngsters learn about their bodies.

Materials: Long poster paper, pencils or crayons, yarn, wiggle eyes, and fabric. 

Description: Have two children take turns tracing each others bodies. Then give
them the materials listed above to decorate their tracings with!

Height Chart
The children will see the differences between their heights and their friends' heights
during this preschool activity by Mary R.

Materials: A long sheet of butcher paper, markers, Parent helpers and children.

Description: We put up the butcher paper on a long blank wall. We lined the
children up by height and had then back up against the paper. With the help of the parents, traced the children on to the butcher paper. The children then filled in eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hair etc. Some children even added waving hands and teeth. They had fun and learned about the differences. We do anecdotal observations, so had some great observations on self image and drawing with details.

Comments: You could use anything to make the drawing look like the kids; yarn,
fabric etc.

Self Portraits
Jennifer S. encourages body part recognition and fine motor skills during this early childhood activity.

Materials:  White construction paper and markers or crayons.

Description: Starting at the beginning of the school year, pull out these items once a month for the whole school year and tell the children to draw a picture of themselves using the markers.  In the bottom corner, write the child's name and the date of the drawing. File these pictures away, and at the end of the year bind the pictures together to send home.  This makes a great keepsake for the  family and it shows the development of their child fine motor skills.  It is truly amazing how detailed the children get by the end of the year!

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