Me and my body
These activities are suitable for children aged 4-12months and align with stage 1b of the Developmental Journal Babies Visual Impairment (DJVI).
What you'll need
Bells, tactile gloves, tactile socks, balloons, feathers
Nursery rhymes and action songs can help your child to learn and understand body awareness, physical movement and tactile feedback. They also provide great opportunities for social interaction, to develop language and communication skills.
Over time, your child may become familiar with the repetitive songs and begin to learn the words and guess the actions.
Try to keep games varied and activities short and start when your child is awake and alert. Begin some songs when your child is lying down and others when they’re on your lap. Before you start, it might also be a good idea to let your child know what you’re going to do. For example, by saying ‘Where are your feet/toes?’ as you touch them, or by placing your child’s hand on top of yours and guiding their hand to the body part.
If using textures, gently place the item near your child’s hands or feet and give them time to explore. Wherever possible, encourage your child to explore the items using both hands. You can gently touch the texture to the back of your child’s hand or use hand-under-hand to guide your child to the item.
Remember to provide your child with time to process the visual, tactile, and auditory information before starting the song.
- Tie bells on your child’s hands and feet so they want to move their arms and legs to hear the jingling noise.
- Use a feather to play tickling games on your child’s hands and feet.
- Lay your child on their back, support their legs and gently bend and extend their knees away from their chest. This movement is like riding a bike. You may want to progress to lightly place your hands on the soles of your child’s feet and gently push and release each foot alternately. If your child is enjoying this activity, try to rotate each leg alternately in both directions and then move both legs together.
- Place a bottle of warm milk or water on your child’s tummy or chest and support your child to find it, saying "Where is it? It’s on your tummy!"
- You can complete the actions on your child’s body as you sing nursery rhymes such as:
• Round and round the garden
• Incy Wincy spider
• Twinkle, twinkle
Repeat often to build your child’s familiarity and encourage their anticipation.
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Download a PDF version of the activity below.