|Babies||Walkers to 2||2s to 3s||3s to 4s|
Overview and benefit
This activity teaches children parts of their body by having it tickled and named. At first babies don’t have any sense of themselves and cannot distinguish between themselves and their parent. It’s not till around 7 months that they begin to realise they are separate from their parent and the start to gain more control over their bodies. This is when they start to understand what body parts belong to them and where they begin and end. This activity encourages this body recognition by making them aware through touch of the key parts of the body and then associating them with the correct names. This naming of body parts is valuable for older children as the body parts become more specific and the vocabulary becomes more challenging.
- Your tickling fingers!
- One to two weeks
How it works
The class instructor says a little rhyme, naming a body part which the parent then tickles on their baby or child.
What to do in the class
Have the children sat in a circle with children on their parents’ laps. Say the rhyme below before each tickling. Encourage parents to move their fingers slowly up their child’s body on the ‘One, two, three’ to build the anticipation, then the instructor can call out what to tickle at the end of the rhyme. This is a nice activity for new parents to play at home.
Here they come
They want to play
And have some fun.
What will they tickle?
Shall we see?
Here they come
One, two three
I’m going to tickle your …
Adaptation for older/younger children
This is an easy activity to differentiate for different age groups as you choose the body parts involved and can start of very simply with words such as head, tummy, feet, hands, and move to more obscure body parts such as elbow, chin, knee, cheek. Also whilst with babies and younger children, the parent can do the tickling, with older children it would be fun to let them tickle their parent as well.
What to do in a nursery setting
Give each child a feather and get them to either tickle themselves or a partner.
The parent/child can just use their fingers to tickle, or you could give them a feather, or a feather duster for added fun! If using feathers, just substitute the word feather for fingers in the rhyme.