Willows Pre-school and the human body.
At Willows Pre-school we know that it is important for the children to be able to identify the human body parts and being intentional about using them is a cognitive, physical, and language-enriching process. In early childhood, we learn through sensory discovery which happens by moving through and experiencing the world. With each physical ability we acquire, we become more aware of something else we can do/see/explore.
Our bodies are essentially our toolkits for discovery, so if I reach my arm and grasp my hand, I can grab it! If I stand up, I can see more things from a higher point of view! If I bend my knees and swing my arms, I can jump like a rabbit! As our little ones are discovering their bodies, we make sure that this learning is supported by labeling, touching, and moving body parts in isolation, especially those body parts that aren’t naturally used.
The more awkward/unfamiliar movements you can practice, such as walking without bending your knees or rolling like a straight log, or crossing opposite arms to touch opposite feet, the more the brain is flexed. Another important aspect of encouraging body learning is that it helps children develop an appreciation for their body and confidence in themselves which motivates them to reach new heights.
Teaching little ones to love their bodies at a young age helps them grow into children and adults who want to keep their bodies strong, healthy, and safe so they can continue to do all the things they love to do. Eventually, they will learn that a happy body is a happy me. Maybe, if we start emphasising this a bit more in early childhood, our kids will be more inclined to cherish and take care of their bodies throughout life!