Active for Life: The Parent and Teachers Guide to Raising Healthy Physically Active Children

Developmentally, children should be able to name and identify all of their body parts by about the age of four. Parents can assist their child to develop an awareness of the different parts of the body by spending about 10 minutes each day with body part identification activities.

  • Ask your child to touch with their hands different parts of the body. “Can you touch your head (a shoulder, knees, toes, feet, etc.)?”
  • Ask your child to identify larger areas of their upper body (chest, abdominal region, back, arm) and lower body (legs, bottom/seat, and ankles.)
  • When your child knows her body part vocabulary, ask her to use those body parts in relation to objects in the environment. “Can you point to the wall with your knee (nose, head, foot, and elbow)?”
  • Provide verbal challenges to your child to “bend (straighten) the elbow (knee, head, hand, fingers, toes)” or “swing (sway) the arms (legs, total body)”.
  • As your child develops skill in identifying body parts, challenge her to balance a beanbag or small stuffed animal on different body parts. “Can you balance a beanbag on your shoulder?” “Can you balance a beanbag on your head while walking forward?” “Can you balance a beanbag on your knee?”

A great family activity would be to paint or draw your child’s body. Place a large roll of newsprint paper on the floor and have your child lay down on his back on the paper. Trace the child’s body and cut out. Your child can assist you in naming the body parts and writing the names of the parts on the paper. Color the paper body and draw clothing. Hang the body art in your child’s room. Body part identification can be fun for both parent and child.


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