Your child needs to understand how her or his body looks and moves.
You can help your child develop a body image by:
- Standing together in front of a mirror and pointing out "Mom's elbow, Clare's elbow," "Dad's knee, Charlie's knee," and so on.
- Asking your child to close his or her eyes and then name their body parts as you gently touch them.
- Getting your child to draw pictures of themselves or other people. Always say positive things about the pictures first, then you can add "I wonder how you can smell with no nose?", or "What about drawing some feet so your person can walk nicely."
- Playing 'mirrors': Stand face to face with your child. Move an arm or leg, or make a face, and ask your child to copy you. Keep going, using different body parts in different ways.
You can help your child to understand how their body moves in space by:
- Asking your child to walk forwards, backwards, and sideways, and then to jump up and down and to the side.
- Talking about how things are on top of or underneath, or next to, other things.
- Asking your child to lay the table and showing them how the knife and fork must both point in the same direction. You can also ask them to line up things so that they face the same direction.