The Bell Center Toddler Times

Monthly Theme: EveryBODY at School

Signs: more, please, eat, drink, ball, my turn

Key Vocabulary Words: hi/hello, bye/goodbye, girl, boy, yes, no, head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, feet, friend

Nursery Rhymes, Finger Plays, and Songs

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

The More We Get Together

Humpty Dumpty

Teacher Time

Welcome back everyone! We are so excited to start the 2017-2018 school year here at The Bell Center. September is such a fun month to get to know new friends and families and of course, catch up with our friends from the year before! Our theme this month is EveryBODY at School. We will be discussing body parts, what we do at school and who we see. It’s a new theme this year and we can’t wait to dive right in!

Some activities we may do at The Bell Center or you could try at home include: tracing someone’s body on crate paper then decorating it, playing with Mr. Potato Head and discussing body parts, singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, give a baby doll a bath, or make a craft with a friend or sibling. It can be a lot of fun to create art with a friend!

There are so many fun books we can read here this month. A few of our favorites are: Little Feet Like, Whose Noes Whose Toes?, Is This my Nose?, Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes, and If You Take a Mouse to School. There are many books that discuss first days of school, making new friends, and body parts!

We can’t wait to see what this year holds for everyone. Please be sure to bring your child’s bag with diapers, a change of clothes, and their cup! We really appreciate all our families being on time for class. It really helps us get the year off to a great start!!

As always, let The Bell Center staff know if you have any questions or concerns regarding your child.

Language Lessons

Communication happens all the time.  It involves how we interact. Gestures, facial expressions, pointing, vocalizing, saying words, using pictures or even just looking at an object can be ways to express ourselves.  While “talking” is our ultimate goal, be aware of other ways your child communicates with you.  Interact with them on their level and reinforce their efforts to communicate.  Remember to imitate them and take turns with them.  This month we will be learning about body parts and friends.  We are going to make “pancake faces” and meet new friends in our classes.  You can talk about these things at home as well as play games and sing related songs.  Remember to have fun with communication and language learning.  We look forward to a wonderful year.  Always feel free to ask your speech-language pathologist if you have questions about language.

OT Pointers

September is “all about me” which means we are reviewing body parts, talking about ways our bodies move, and where our body is in space.  Occupational therapists are big proponents of messy play, and some of you may have experienced messy food play during your therapy sessions!  While messy food play is a great way to learn about the properties of foods, it can also be a chance to talk about parts of the body and face.  You can get silly with your child and have them “do like you” and put pudding on their nose, chin, cheek, lips.  Talking about these body parts and then having them touch and also feel those body parts helps solidify these concepts and their awareness of where these parts are on their own bodies.

The most difficult body schema to learn are those parts of the body, like your face, which your child can’t see and examine – unlike their arms and hands.  For older children you can do this same activity with paint.  You can paint your face, and even your hands, arms, legs, feet.  You can have them paint themselves while in the bath tub right before bath time.  Or you can do this outside while your child is in their swim suit and then have them run through the sprinkler!

A classic toy that also uses body parts and has your child examine their relationship to each other is Mr. Potato head.  This is a higher level toy that does require more in hand manipulation and visual spatial coordination to place the parts on the plastic potato.  One way to make it a little easier for your child is for you to place pieces and they remove them.

If they really want to try putting the pieces in on their own, you can make the activity easier by using a play dough “potato” by using a big ball of play dough.  It will be easier for your child to stick in the different pieces into the play dough and this also doesn’t require them to line up the pieces into the holes of the plastic potato.  Mr. potato head play not only includes review of body parts and body schema, but it is an activity that recruits and encourages contralateral hand skills, intrinsic (inside your hand) hand muscle strengthening, and visual spatial planning skills.  So there are many great skills that your child will be working on with this one activity!  No wonder it’s a classic toy.

PT Pointers

As we return to school, it is very exciting to see the progress your children have made in their gross motor skills over the summer! Please keep us posted about any visits with other early intervention providers or professionals like neurologists, orthopedists, etc. Also, let your child’s physical therapist know if your child is outgrowing any equipment like splints, walkers, or hip helper shorts. We look forward to getting to know you and your child this year. YOU are the most important member of your child’s team, so please keep us updated on how things are going outside of The Bell Center.

In September, our theme in the classroom is “Every BODY at School.” We will talk about body parts and sing songs like “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” and “The Hokey Pokey.” These songs are great to learn about body parts, but they can also be used as fun movement activities. As you sing with your child, you can work on independent standing or standing with support. Help your child shift his or her weight to balance on one foot during “The Hokey Pokey,” or practice squatting to the floor to touch toes in “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Repetition is key for building strength and endurance in toddlers, so try to find fun songs and activities that motivate your child to keep moving!  Please ask your child’s therapist if you would like individual suggestions for home.

We are looking forward to a great year!






My Turn