Milestones: Identifying Body Parts
As your child got older and began to explore your face with his hands as all babies do, it’s likely that you instinctively voiced the names for the features he was pointing out, saying things like “Mommy’s nose” or “Daddy’s eyes.” These early interactions may have seemed insignificant at the time; but in reality, they could not have been more important in helping your baby achieve certain milestones, including language development and of course, identifying body parts.
Although most children aren’t able to verbally identify more than three or four body parts before their second birthday, there are plenty of things you can do to help prepare your little one for this important milestone, and you can start as early as infancy. Below, you will find some fun and creative ideas for helping your baby begin to connect certain body parts to their correct names:
- Play interactive games with your youngster, taking turns pointing to specific body parts. For example, you can first point to your nose, and then say, “Now, can Brayden touch his nose?” Repeat this activity for several different body parts.
- Draw faces with your child and point out the different features on the drawing. Make this activity even more fun by drawing silly faces and exaggerated features, pointing out a very small nose or very large ears.
- If your child has a favorite baby doll or stuffed animal, you can use it as a learning tool, pointing to the arms, legs, feet, etc.
- Music has always been a creative way to get children involved in learning. Try singing some songs together about body parts. You can find some examples of such songs here.
Whichever method you use to help your child begin to recognize the parts of her body, remember not to force the issue. The learning process should always be fun, especially at this young age. If your child feels pressured or is so overexposed to the subject that she begins to feel bored, all of your efforts could backfire. The best thing you can do is practice patience and rest assured that your child will achieve this, and other milestones, when the time is right.