Heads, Bellies, Toes
Ask the children to touch their heads, bellies, and toes, and then reverse the order as you
call out the body parts. Begin with a slow, rhythmic chant that gently moves the children
down and up. Once the children are experiencing success with this, reverse—and mix up—
the order of body parts.
Extending the Activity: Vary the tempo at which you call out the body parts, or start out
slowly and gradually accelerate (the movement element of time). Add dramatic pauses—
long and short—so the children are not sure when you will call out a body part (flow).
When your toddlers are ready, play the more traditional Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and
Toes, eventually varying the order of body parts and the tempo at which you call them out.
Observation and Evaluation: Can the child identify body parts? Does the child demon-
strate listening skills?
Adding Equipment: Children can touch plastic cups, rhythm sticks, or beanbags to the
body parts instead of their hands to provide practice manipulating an object.
Curriculum Connectors: Body-part identification is an important introductory concept
for young children, falling under the theme of “My Body” and the content area of science.
Listening skills are a component of both language arts and music.
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