Toys to Teach Kids About the Human Body
Learning about the human body through toys is a great follow on from ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’. Not only are our precious little Einstein’s learning about themselves and others, but toys can provide an ideal introduction to science and social skills.
Toys are a terrific resource but more importantly, let’s first take advantage of those delightful, impromptu ‘teaching’ moments throughout the day…
- Discover the importance of being physically healthy through gross motor exercise and play, learning how their body parts move and function.
- Explore how their body feels after exercise - heart beating faster, sweating, heavy breathing.
- Recognise how their body feels at rest – slow breathing, slow heart rate.
- Fine motor is also central to how our body works – helping with pegging out the washing or gripping a pencil or chew toy, placing in a puzzle piece.
- Don’t forget about those perfect 5 senses – see (the beautiful world around them), touch (all those special sensory objects), smell (those gorgeous flowers in the garden), hear (the birds chirping and the rubbish truck picking up the rubbish) and taste (Mum or Dad’s delicious culinary delights!).
Here are some more wonderful ways to explore the human body further with a selection of the Elves' favourite human body themed toys:
Dolls are a great way to view our bodies from a different perspective. We can talk about what our doll should wear throughout different pretend play scenarios, discuss how bodies can differ – teaching diversity, point to different body parts and of course play ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ on our doll. Miniland have an extensive range of quality anatomically correct male and female baby dolls that will last a lifetime of play (you know, those dolls that can truly be passed on from one generation to the next!)
Is there anything more wonderful than watching your little angel pretending to be an animal? – bring out the downward dog! These cards by Yogi Fun provide littlies with yoga poses related to animals and nature with matching rhymes. What a brilliant way to explore their bodies and have some learning fun with rhyme. There are games you can play such as Yogi Tag where those in a pose can’t be caught, Memo-Yogi where you match the picture of the pose with the rhyme and Vinyasa – the sun salutation card picture sequence. Now, go and relax in the starfish pose for a few moments with your eyes closed (it will help you get through the day!) – don’t forget to include your littlies – they will love it.
This 200-piece floor puzzle by Sassi Junior features a massive life size (about a 3-year-old) picture of all the parts of the body. While piecing the puzzle together you will learn what kind of bones make up a skeleton, how food gets digested, the organs and much more. This set is recommended for children 6 years and older, but don’t be deterred by the 200 pieces – what a special way to spend time with your pre-schooler exploring not only the human body – but shapes, colours and sizes. The puzzle also comes is a set with a lovely 32 page book. As a follow up activity - lie your pre-schooler down and draw around their body – use this outline to draw in and label the parts of the body using the puzzle as a guide.
For the older Einsteins, bring in the science with this skeleton kit from Heebie Jeebies. Even a 6-year-old could build this with help. It contains everything you need to build a skeleton 30 cm tall on a stand. An investigation book and illustrated manual are also included. Learn all about bones in the human body, joints, muscles and genetics. A great start for those could be doctors and nurses. Also handy during Halloween!
This one really brings out the science for the hard-core scientists and doctors out there. It’s a fun little fact-filled cube system that can be put together and read from ‘page’ 1 through to ‘page’ 12. Here, the user can really get down to the nitty gritty of the human body – with facts about all major body systems and organs. Pair with the Human Body Lens Book from Sassi Junior and you will have an unstoppable doctor on your hands.
Most importantly of all, all of these toys can help your child explore, respect, understand and care for their precious human body!