Help Him Name His Body Parts
Infants may be fascinated by their hands, but toddlers are discovering every part of their body -- from their hair to their toes. And by the time he's 2, your child will probably be able to point to about ten different body parts and may even be able to name many of them, says Anita Gurian, Ph.D., a child and adolescent psychologist at the New York University Child Study Center. Why is he so enthralled? "As an infant moves into toddlerhood, he works on figuring out who he is in relation to the outside world, and his body is his point of reference," Gurian says.
Here are some activities that help him learn:
Double the fun. Ask your child to show you his fingers or his ears, then ask him to show you yours. He'll get a kick out of the give-and-take -- and from getting the answer right .
Channel Picasso. Draw an outline of your child's hand or foot on a piece of paper, then name the parts -- like the thumb or pinky toe -- together.
Quiz him. If your toddler is more verbal, a simple guessing game -- you ask him which body part helps him run, he shows you -- kicks up the level.
Don't forget old standbys. Any game that lets a toddler burn energy is a good thing. So try some Simon Says with body-based directions ("Simon says, wave your hands!"), or do the Hokey Pokey and turn the two of you around -- all the way to naptime.