Activities That Teach Body Parts to Three-Year-Olds

While distinguishing your knee from your elbow is simple for experienced adults, young children must learn the differences between these body parts. Through the use of games and activities, you can easily educate your three-year-old on the basic parts that make up the human body. After learning these simple lessons, your youngster will be more familiar with her body and ready to face more serious academic challenges.

Simon Says Touch Your...

Modify a standard childhood favorite to make the game educational. Instead of playing a round of standard “Simon Says...” with your pupils, try “Simon Says Touch Your...” As you give directions to the child playing the game, make each direction directly relevant to the identification of a body part. For example, give directions like “Simon says, 'raise your hands'” and “Simon says, 'scratch your knee.'” Just as with standard Simon Says, instruct players to only complete the requested task if the request is proceeded by “Simon says.” As you move through the activity, increase the speed of your requests and the obscurity of the body parts mentioned to add to the difficulty of the activity.

Body Race

Get your child's blood pumping with a body part race. To begin this activity, stand a reasonable distance from the child. Tell your child that, when you say to, she must run over to you and touch the body part you state then return to her starting position. For example, if you said, “Touch mommy's elbow,” she must run from the side of the room she is currently on over to you, touch your elbow, and return to her side of the room. As your child runs back and forth completing the tasks, she will not only effectively review her body part knowledge, she will also work off some of her youthful energy.

Ribbons Around

This play on a standard dress-up game is ideal for play with multiple players. To prepare for this game, gather several ribbons of varying lengths. Give each child five to 10 ribbons to use in playing the game. Tell the players that you are going to challenge them to identify body parts. To identify each part, they must tie a ribbon around that body part. Explain to these children that you will keep your back to them while they place their ribbons and not look until the game is done. Turn your back to the players and start giving instructions. Tell the children to place ribbons in different body part locations with commands such as, “Tie a ribbon around your head,” “Tie a ribbon around your wrist” and “Tie a ribbon around your ankle." After giving all commands, turn around and check the beribboned children to determine how many body parts they could effectively identify. Give a prize to each participant who is correct in all of his ribbon placements.