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What Am I Made Of?

Body Awareness

Body awareness is a child’s intuitive understanding of their body – it’s size, shape, and component parts (head, shoulders, knees, toes, etc.). This awareness isn’t innate. In fact, at birth babies have no idea they have a body at all. Like everything else, they learn their body over time through physical experiences. And that’s important because in these formative years, the body is their best learning tool. So, like any great craftsman, they need to know their toolkit.

Top to Bottom... In to Out

Generally, children develop body awareness from top to bottom and inside to outside. That is, from the head first then progressing down the body, and from the torso out to the fingers and toes. And you can see that when children draw pictures of themselves.

Self-Portraits

If your child is drawing pictures, ask him to draw a picture of himself. It can actually explain a lot. For instance, take a look at Aidan’s self-portrait.

Aidan understands his head and face very clearly. He’s even included ears in his picture. And he understands his torso very well. He has strong arms but his legs are much less in focus for him. And he has no hands or fingers, feet or toes. Aidan is probably not ready for the detailed work required to write. And we’d guess has two 

left feet on the soccer field (since he doesn’t know he has feet yet). Aidan could use some time on the monkeybars feeling the weight of his body with his fingers. And he should go barefoot as much as possible. Feeling different textures and terrains will help connect his brain to his feet. Take a look at the other self-portraits and you’ll see body awareness comes into focus for kids in different ways and at different times. Since it’s all based on experience, there’s no specific timetable and no one right answer for every child.

What You Can Do

As kids use different parts of their body, give them the word for it. “I love how you climb up the stairs on your knees.” “You did a good job pushing the door with your elbow.” When you draw attention to what they’re doing, they’re absorbing the language and, in this case, their own self-awareness.

Body Bowling

A New Way to Play Ball!

Using different body parts to play ball is a really fun way to get to know your body!

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In small spaces kids feel BIG!

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Developing Self-Control.

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How kids develop courage.  LEARN MORE...

And there's more...

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