Kids learn what we can do with our body – The Traveling Closet

by Mary Ann on July 11, 2011

girl with duck pictures

Summer is for being outdoors

It is summer!!!! In summer we want to be outdoors. In summer we want to move, big movements. In summer we want to feel the breeze. In summer we want to use our bodies!

The latest Traveling Closet was all about what we can do with our bodies. There were no projects or crafts, just pure outdoor fun and moving around.

I found some great books on using our bodies, all the things that our bodies can do. Books are some of my grandchildren’s favorite things so we began by reading each book. These wonderful books are great “act it out” books. After I read a page we would copy what we had just read; for example “Wiggle the end where your tail would be.” It was a lot of fun!

Tip: If you have an older child have them help you out. One of you reads a page and the other helps the younger children do whatever movement is required.

The first book they chose was a book about being able to eat. I had popped some corn and while we ate the corn we read the other books.

I have to mention that when I got to the children’s home Jack, who is 3, was striding around with a very grim look on his face. He wouldn’t hug or speak. His dad informed me that today he was Hopper from the movie “It’s a Bugs Life”. Hmmm, that explains the look, the no hug and the no speaking!

boy mimick hopper in its a bugs life

Hopper the grouchy grasshopper

I should also mention that Hopper is not a fun or happy being to be around. He doesn’t sit and read books! He doesn’t sit on grandma’s lap. He hovers around the fringes with an angry face pretending total disinterest while not missing a thing! Oh yes, when he eats he grabs handfuls of pop corn which he shoves into his mouth creating quite a mess! We should have read this book outside! : )

scattered popcorn picture

Hopper is not nice and he is not neat!

When I decided to choose this subject I worried about Maggie who is five and has severe Cerebral Palsy. What she can do for herself and by herself is very limited. Yet, she has a body and she likes to use it so I went ahead.

When we were reading the book about jumping I held her under her arms and said bend your knees. Down her knees would go. “OK, straighten your legs” and with some effort up would come her knees. Just as she finished straightening I would lift her up and down while saying JUMP! She laughed and laughed. It was so fun.

After we had read all the books and had done all the actions we headed off to the park. It was quite a caravan. This grandma has those arm wings we all dread but trust me underneath is some serious muscle!!!

kids caravan picture

Our "see what our bodies can do" caravan

“What am I using to push this train?” “Your hands, grandma, your hands.”

“What makes the train go?” “Your feet, your feet.”

We smelled some smells with our noses on the way to the park. We felt some leaves and flowers and sticker bushes with our hands.

Then we fed the ducks. We used our hands to throw them the rest of our pop corn. Did you know that ducks swim with their webbed feet?

boy with ducks picture

A stick is a magical tool we can use with our hands

We took off our shoes and wadded in the streams that flow through our park. Our toes could feel the pebbles. The water was cold and we loved it.

kids in water pictures

Toes like to feel pebbles underneath

kid with feet in water picture

Cold water is stimulating!

We swung on the swings and talked about using our legs to “pump” and keep ourselves going. That will take some practice.

kids in swing pictures

Use those legs to pump! Maggie understands the concept


kid drinking water on bench picture

A well deserved break!

We stopped by the community garden where we have a beautiful plot and did some watering using our hands. All these little things helped them learn what we can do with our hands and feet, or mouth, noses and other body parts.

Then the long walk home, squinting our eyes in the sun.

We ended the day with the book Sleep, Little One Sleep by Marion Dane Bauer. Our bodies and eyes were very ready for a rest.

kid playing in water under bridge picture

Dark and scary places are always interesting!

BOOKS about our bodies:

Wiggle by Doreen Cronin and Scott Menchin

Jump! by Scott M. Fischer

I have to apologize! I had about 6-7 books that we used. I regrettably took them back to the library without writing them down first. I searched for them on the web but could only find these two. So sorry. However, your librarian can help you out.

I did not have access to the books below but I thought they looked wonderful and maybe your library will have them.

The Skipping Book (Lets Get Moving) by Oril Zuravicky

The Wiggle & Giggle Book: 365 Fun, Physical Activities for Your Toddler and Preschool by Trish Kuffner and Megan McGinnis


kids playing in park images

Summer is for movement, BIG movement!



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