In our class, we practice naming and touching parts of the body and explore how each part moves. Infants and toddlers are in the exciting process of becoming aware of their own bodies; the experience of naming a limb or elbow, ankle or wrist, coupled with what they feel as they touch it, triggers a memory and creates an association between the name and the location. This, combined with the movement, contributes to the process of gaining control and mastering coordination. Our curriculum includes chants and songs that contain repetitions, such as “arm, arm, arm, arm” in Tickle or activities such as Looby Loo, and We are all nodding which identify and repeat movement of different parts of the body. We extend this process in our instrument time such as with A Ram Sam Sam, as we choose and name where to tap then sing accordingly.
You will be aware, too, how I often encourage us to cross over the midline. There are distinct benefits to practicing this, and this article explains why we particularly address this skill, both in stationary and traveling movement activities in class. The ideas suggested in the article are written for children in the span of early childhood, but can easily be adapted for toddlers.