Teaching children to know and love their bodies is so important. It is strange to see how many people will comment on the one thing that makes a child stand out or different. Without thinking what that comment could do, whether it be something positive on negative. It seems to me like everyone just opens their mouths and give opinions without a second thought. With my son it is something positive. People, or should I rather say strangers, very often comment on the fact that they believe he has beautiful blue eyes. Ok, I shouldn’t complain right? But what if the readily available comments are negative?
A cousin of mine was born with the most beautiful head of blonde hair, and in the middle on the top a patch of dark hair. It is so unique and beautiful. When they were still in hospital after his birth people already asked my aunt what they would do about the patch. How strange. When he was 3 or 4 years old, we were playing and he made some comment about his hair. I can still remember telling him how beautiful and unique it is, and he followed up with “NO, IT’S UGLY”. We really need to think about what we teach our kids, and what we say about others. Lets teach our kids to love their bodies.
Following on this theme of loving our bodies, here are some easy activities as a start.
- Hands and Feet
Hands and feet are an easy activity to do, and makes for great conversation. You can talk to your child about the uses of these body parts. “Feet are used for walking, running and jumping. We have 10 toes. Look how beautiful your toes are. What can we do with our hands? We use them to help someone, or to draw pictures”. That type of thing.
There are so many ways to do this. It is also fun for mommy or daddy to do theirs as well. Then you can also compare them, mine is bigger and yours is smaller. Here are some ideas:
- Draw the outline of your hands and feet and colour them in with crayons or paint. You can do each one in a different colour if you like.
- Paint your child’s hand / foot and press an imprint on paper.
- Make up some salt dough (See recipe below) and do imprints of your child’s hands and feet. This can also become some what of a keepsake. You can use it in a frame or make pebbles for the garden. It is a nice idea to do one a year or every 6 months and so building a collection as your children grow.
- Trace the outline of your hand onto foam or paper and cut it out. It is lots of fun playing and counting those fingers.
- Hand print flower bouquets
b. My body
This one was really fun to do. We used a roll of paper and rolled a piece long enough for his body out on the ground.
Draw the outline of the child’s body onto the paper.
Draw in the face and paint clothes for his body.
We enjoyed this so much we had to repeat it 3 times. This lead to learning about mixing colours.