8 Ideas for Teaching Body Parts to Toddlers

by | Dec 4, 2021

One important milestone for toddlers is learning their body parts. It’s adorable when your child starts to point to their eyes and nose; it’s an important skill and part of their language development. Parents can find so many options for teaching body parts to toddlers.

Learning their body parts don’t have to be boring!

Toddlers learn through talking, playing games, reading books, and all sorts of different ideas.

Your child finds their hands between three to four months old, and the discovery and exploration of their body continues from there. After that, your baby finds his feet; that’s always a funny time. Before you know it, he points to his arms, toes, and eyes.

Keep reading to learn all about teaching body parts to toddlers and some of the best tips for doing so!

Related: 21 Important Things to Teach Your 2 Year Old

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When Should I Start Teaching Body Parts to Toddlers?

Learning body parts is an important milestone, and teaching body parts to toddlers is easier than you imagine - try these tips!

There is no set age when you need to start teaching body parts to toddlers directly. Many toddlers pick up the names of the body parts by songs and talking about their body regularly.

However, if you want to start purposefully teaching body parts, the earlier the better! It’s never too early to say the name of their body parts. All you have to do is change how you present it as your baby gets older.

Babies learn as soon as they enter the world!

However, you might not have to purposefully teach body parts since it often develops naturally. You might touch his belly while changing his diaper, and he learns the name through mimicking. When you say clap your hands and demonstrate, toddlers connect that those are their hands.

You’ll notice most children picking up the names of the body parts between 13 to 15 months old. Most 18 month old toddlers can point to at least one to two body parts.

How Many Body Parts Should a 2 Year Old Know?

By the time your toddler is two years old, most will know their basic body parts, such as their hands, feet, legs, eyes, nose, and ears. These are basic, but they won’t know more “advanced” parts.

For example, your toddler should know what their arm is, but they won’t know elbows and wrists. Most of this knowledge comes from simple activities like getting dressed, taking baths, and silly things. The everyday activities are highly efficient when it comes to teaching body parts to toddlers.

8 Tips for Teaching Body Parts to Toddlers

1. Talk about Body Parts All The Time

Toddlers listen to everything their parents say; they’re little sponges, soaking in all the words we say.

So, when you’re doing daily activities like getting your toddler dressed and brushing their teeth, use body part names and talk about them

The more times you say “put your arm into the sleeve,” or “we need to brush your tongue,” the more likely your toddler will pick up and understand words.

2. Point to Animal Parts

Some toddlers won’t respond to learn their own body parts because the repetition bores them. Instead, identify parts of animals, like their stuffed animals or your pets. You also can show that some animals have tails, and others don’t – this helps your child pay attention to differences and similarities.

3. Sing Songs about Body Parts

Toddlers love music and singing, and when their parents sing songs, they get so excited. Many popular kid songs involve body parts, making teaching body parts to toddlers even easier.

Try to sing one of these sounds each day, and get everyone moving. Point to the body parts and act silly. The more often you do this, the sooner your toddler picks up the body part names.

Here are some kid songs about body parts.

  • The Hokey Pokey
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
  • If You’re Happy and You Know It

4. Learning Through Questions

As your toddler gets older, you can try teaching body parts to toddlers through questions. Ask him if he knows where a body part is and have him point to it. You might have to give a hint – that’s okay!

Ask these questions casually – whenever you think of them – but it works well. Not only do toddlers love showing off their skills, but it helps you know when to introduce new body part names.

5. Read Body Part Books

Learning body parts is an important milestone, and teaching body parts to toddlers is easier than you imagine - try these tips!

Parents know how important reading is for children; it is one of the most important assets for language acquisition. Spend quality bonding time developing pre-reading skills while teaching body parts to your toddler.

Many toddler-oriented books focus on body parts, and it’s important to point to these body parts in the pictures and on your child to make the connection.

Here are some of the best toddler books about body parts.

Related: 10 Books to Teach Your Toddler About Diversity and Equality

6. Hang Posters of the Human Body

Many kids are visual learners; they learn best by seeing, and they get a lot of information that way. Hang some large posters of the human body in their bedroom, and point out the different parts regularly. Talk about what each part of the body does.

7. Play Simon Says

Playing games is another great way to introduce toddlers to the names of the body parts. One of the best games to play with your child is Simon Says in a simplified method, asking him to point or touch different body parts like head, knees, toes, ears, stomach, eyes, nose, and mouth.

8. Work on Body Part Puzzles

Some puzzles are designed to teach your toddlers about body parts. Wooden puzzles come in different shapes, and not only do they teach the parts, but they work on your toddler’s fine motor skills while learning the names.

Check out these body part puzzles for toddlers.

1. Kidzlane Wooden My Body Puzzle for Toddlers

Kidzlane sells their body puzzles for girls and boys with correct anatomy. Grab their girl anatomy wooden puzzle or boy anatomy wooden puzzle!

2. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Human Body Play Set

Melissa & Doug created a magnetic human play set with 24 magnetic pieces and a storage try. This puzzle features anatomically correct magnets for boys and girls, along with the body’s systems and organs. It’s ideal for toddlers 3 years old and up.

3. Toddler Human Body Parts Puzzles by Quokka Store

These puzzles are for toddlers between two and four years old. They’re anatomy puzzles with two large puzzles to teach your child the body parts. The parts are sturdy and legless.

How to Teach Toddlers about Private Body Parts

It’s important that parents stop ignoring private body parts. Most parents don’t discuss them with their toddlers, and they eventually pick up nicknames for them.

One of the most important things that parents can do is teach their child that there is no shame or embarrassment when it comes to their private organs. Use proper names – not nicknames – because no part of our body is shameful.

There is no need to introduce sex education to toddlers; instead, teach them the name of their genitals. If you notice that they use a different word, tell them the correct word.

Teaching body parts to toddlers is a lot easier than you imagine. It starts with talking to your toddler and pointing out their body parts before moving to games, books, and silly songs. Your child will learn their body parts before you know it!