27 answers

Teaching Toddler Their Body Parts

When and how did you teach your toddler their personal body parts (i.e. eyes, nose, ears, mouth, head, arms, legs, etc.)

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I don't remember what her age was, but I would softly touch or stroke the body part and say in a sing-song voice, "Soft little cheeks, tiny little ears, sweet little feet," etc..., so was teaching adjectives along with body parts.

I would start teaching body parts as soon as they become aware. Also please teach the proper body part's name. My mother did not do this and I got very embarassed as a child when I went to school with a Peter. That's what she called boy's parts. She hated it that I taught the proper names but you really are suppose to. She just felt Penis didn't sound like a good word.

Anytime-toddlers are never too young to learn. My daughter knew all her body parts by 1 1/2. I would go ahead and start now. Just start with a couple easy ones then add a couple as you go. It will be so fun, good luck!

More Answers

WHenever they are ready. Each child is different. ANd you can start doing it before they are talking even. Children are learning before they are saying their first words.

I started around 9 months while nursing. I'd use my babies' hands to point to part of my face and name them.

One. Even if they cant say the parts, they can point to them..on you, themselves, teddy bears, etc.

I think they pick up on it on their own as long as you are talking about them. You should daily be telling you child what their body parts are. Talk to you toddler as you dress them, bathe them, and when you play and they should pick up on the body parts quickly. Good Luck.

I started teaching my daughter about body parts and singing the Abc's during bath-time. She learned each of those things before she turned one. She could point to each body part i asked her to and could sing her ABC's at the age of one. I just repeatedly did these things multiple times in the bath. I also taught her colors. She knew her colors at the age of one also!! I would like to feel it was because i started doing those things from the time she was only a few months old. Its never too early to start teaching!!

When you start it never ends, when they start talking they can start learning, or signing, and when they are curious. My daughter was about 8 and she had pain in her abdomen, She would know where this is because she knew her knee was her patella, ect. She told the doctor its not my stomach that hurts its my abdomen, which is down here. I have to laugh when I think about this because she wasn't sure he should be trusted because after she told him abdomen he called it her stomach. Which of course she could show you where that is too.

With my daughter, we never really planned a way to teach her the different body parts. But when she was about 1 year old, we got the book Counting Kisses. Each page talks about giving baby kisses on different body parts. When we read it to her, we would either kiss or point to each body part that was mentioned in the book. She LOVED the book and always wanted us to read it to her. Eventually, she started doing it along with us. And then we would ask her where each body part was and she would point. We never intended to use the book as a tool to teach her the body parts, but I do believe it was instrumental in her learning them. Good luck to you!

Just point to your parts and name them. Or put him in front of a mirror and point to his parts and name them. He'll catch on really fast!

I don't remember what her age was, but I would softly touch or stroke the body part and say in a sing-song voice, "Soft little cheeks, tiny little ears, sweet little feet," etc..., so was teaching adjectives along with body parts.

My little boy got interested at 13 mos. and I didn't just start teaching him. I started with his belly button, because he could see it on himself and on me, then once he got interested I just wait for him to point to something on me or him then that is the next body part we work on. I would say he averages about 1 new part every 3 days.

Good luck!

I would start teaching body parts as soon as they become aware. Also please teach the proper body part's name. My mother did not do this and I got very embarassed as a child when I went to school with a Peter. That's what she called boy's parts. She hated it that I taught the proper names but you really are suppose to. She just felt Penis didn't sound like a good word.

Anytime-toddlers are never too young to learn. My daughter knew all her body parts by 1 1/2. I would go ahead and start now. Just start with a couple easy ones then add a couple as you go. It will be so fun, good luck!

I started teaching my 1.5 yr old daughter her body parts when she was probably 9-12mos. We started with tongue then I'd stick it out and make a face - this also helped to entertain and distract when she was crying in her carseat (Kaitlin! Show me your tongue! Ah!!) We learned hair, nose, tongue, toes, and belly - and have added hair, ears, mouth, teeth, feet and are starting on left and right. Good luck!

Well, actually we started playing "this little piggie" etc., within a month of bringing our babies home from the hospital. By six months they were playing "patty cake" etc., and we played point out the parts in the mirror while combing hair, etc. Bath time was all about, now I am washing your arm, give mommy your foot, etc. We played at blowing raspberries on the tummy etc when changing diapers and clothes, while putting on lotion and powder, and talked about tummy, belly button, etc. and tickled some and always said "I'm gonna get" your belly button, or foot or whatever.
By the time they were a year old we were all ready sitting on the potty chair when we got up in the morning and from naps and after meals and we played touch your nose, where are you eyes, etc. in the few minutes they were sitting there so I guess we started fairly early.
My son refused to talk but would say toes, nose, and "abows" at a year old. The rest of the world was a point and grunt to let us know what he wanted. Frustrating for all but his older sister talked for him so he had the life of Riley!

I started when mine were just babies. It's never too early to start teaching. I just took their hands, clapped them together so it was like we were playing, and then put them on my body part and said "MOUTH!" and would laugh with my kids. I would do this with everything, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, etc. If you make it into a game, they'll pick it up quicker. Plus, you can then teach them the song "head and shoulders, knees and toes" to continue adding parts to their vocabulary.

I always started when they were babies as we washed each part in the tub. Make it a game or a song, and it will sink in quickly. Have fun!

I think you'll be surprised what they pick up on without actually sitting down to teach them. One day I realized my son knew what some of his body parts were, so I asked him more. He knew most of them just between washing "those stinky feet" at bathtime and "wiping your nose" when he was sick. They pick up on stuff intuitively. When it happened again with my second son, I figured sitting down to teach them about body parts wasn't necessary. Just talk to him and he'll learn that and more.

I started teaching my children their different body parts when they turned a year old. I would go ahead and start teaching him or her now.

D.

I am 31 and have been married for 12 years. My husband and I have 3 boys ages 11,8, and almost 5. (Jan.22)

Do you remember the song, "head shoulders knees and toes"? my kids loved it and you'll have to help move their hands but he/she will love it my kids knew most of their body parts by the time they were 1 1/2 2. Make up your own version and repition works as often as you can!

I liked the response from Diane H--I had a similiar experience with one of my daughters. She was horrifed that the nurse did not seem to know the proper names for body parts! Thankfully the Dr has always talked to us as intelligent people! I really wish anatomy was taught in elementary and middle schools. For all you moms who have never had anatomy and physiology I suggest you get a basic anatomy book and start learning proper names for body parts so you can teach them as your child gets older.With babies you can start with fingers, toes, etc but as they get older they will need to know more precise terms. Besides being very useful when a child is sick or in pain it impresses other adults when your child can say I broke my femur rather than just leg!

We never really sat down to "teach" them their body parts. As infants, we'd do running conversations all the time... a great way for a baby to learn about the world is to hear a running narrative of their day. So it was stuff like... "I'm lifting your legs up to put the clean diaper under you", "let's put your arm through the sleeve", "I'm going to wash your back now", "I'm wiping your nose", "ahh.. you're rubbing your eyes, you must be tired", etc etc etc.

Most kids can point to at least 1 or 2 body parts by their first birthday. And even if they can't, they probably know what you are talking about. Their receptive vocabulary is MUCH bigger than their expressive vocabulary at that age (1-3 years old).

Start now!
It's never too early....

I found that the best time to "teach" my children is in the bath. Especially the body parts. I'm gonna wash your hair. Give me your foot so I can wash it. Raise your arms so I can count your ribs. Tickle time is always a good time to do it too. I also teach them colors with their toys in the tub. They love their bath, and there are few distractions in the tub. The are also not getting bored and running off to something else.

Hi R.,
My son is now 19 months old and knows most of his body parts. He has a little trouble with leg. He gets foot and leg mixed up sometimes, but that is because he is bilingual. My husband is Japanese. The Japanese word for foot and leg is the same word, ashi. I've taught him: hair, head, ear(s), nose, eye(s), mouth, teeth, tongue, face, arms, hands, fingers, legs, foot(feet), toes, shoulders, neck, chest, belly, back, bum, and knees. Just incorporate it into your daily routine as much as you can. For example, at bath time as you wash each part, you can use language like: "I'm washing your hair. Now I'm washing your face. What's next? Where are your ears? There they are. I'm washing your ears. Here's one ear. Where's the other one? Oh, there it is. There's the other ear. Oh, I'm sorry, did water go in your ears? Lean your head this way. See the water came out. Wow, there are bubbles on your hands. Can you clap your hands? Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap your hands. Where's your nose? Can you show mommy your feet? Touch your ears. Oh, no where's mommy's nose? I think it's missing. Wow, thank you. You found mommy's nose!" It can get a bit silly, but the sillier it becomes the more my son loves it! He doesn't even mind getting water over his face. Sometimes I sing instead of just talking. I just borrow the tune from whatever song happens to be stuck in my head at that moment. (A lot like the kids in the cartoon, Little Einsteins.) I also use the body parts when I dress him. "Let's put your shirt on. Over the head, over the head. There, I can see your face again. Can you put your arm through the arm hole? Where's your arm? Where did that arm go? Push it through! Wow, there's your arm." Diaper changes offer another great chance to teach body parts, plus there is the added advantage of keeping his hands out of the mess. My son really likes clapping his hands. Plus there are always ways to incorporate it naturally, "Be careful, closing the door. Flat fingers. Keep your fingers flat when you push it shut." "Ouch. Did you drop your toy on your foot/hand again? Let mommy see your hand. Kiss kiss. It's all better now." Plus there is always tickling and simon says. I taught English as a second language before my little guy entered my life. When you learn a language, repetition is the main key. Practice, practice, practice! It doesn't hurt to have a lot of patience and a willingness to be silly too. Just have a lot of fun and relax. Kids get the language naturally and can understand a whole lot more than you think they can.

Hope that I could give you some ideas,
D.

hi,
i'm pretty sure my dd was around 9 months when we taught her where her tongue was, 10 months belly button, slowly adding on. we just ask where is your tongue and model showing it ourselves until she caught on and would stick it out like a little lizard. same with the rest of her body parts. she is 16 months now and knows her head, eyes, nose, ears, mouth, hair, hands, feet, toes,and vagina. also, karen katz writes baby books that teach the different body parts. one of them is called "where is baby's belly button."

I never really focused on teaching my daughter. It was just a sort of association thing with us, I'd wipe her face or hands and tell her the parts as I wiped them. Or tickling her, telling her where I was tickling her, feet, tummy, back. Little by little she learned.

It is time! When you give him/her a bath name the parts as you wash. The sooner they learn their body parts the easier to let you know exactly what hurts when they need to.

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