Children enjoy learning about things that are meaningful to them. What could be more meaningful than their own bodies? Plan an “All About Me” or senses theme for your class to encourage kids to be healthy. This fun body reflexes game is the perfect addition to any five senses or all about me theme at home or in the classroom.
Read a Book About Reflexes
Why I Sneeze, Shiver, Hiccup, and Yawn is a wonderful book that shares just how and why these reflexes happen. When your children hear you read this book by Melvin Berger, they will eagerly want to show you that they can do each of these actions. Take their energy and channel it into a fun gross motor activity.
Rather than just sit down and sneeze or shiver, your children will to want to get up to act them out. They will probably want to get their hands, arms, and legs involved in each action. Use a set of gross motor action cards based on the actions shared in the book to provide visual cues for non-readers.
Play a Body Reflexes Game
Print the Body Reflex Cards printable. Use the cards to invite children to play out the different actions. (This game can easily be done without the cards, too.)
When children sneeze like the girl in the book, they will cover their nose with their elbow. When they shiver, they can cross their arms across their chest and do a whole body shiver. It will be fun for you to see just how each child acts out each movement. Some may stretch their arms over their heads when they yawn. Other children may sweep a hand up to their mouth to cover the yawn. There will be some that really exaggerate each reflex.
you can play this game several ways. Invite kids to choose a card and demonstrate the action using the picture cue. You select a card and invite all children to mirror the action back to you. Or, invite children to work with a partner. Whisper an action to one of each pair. That child can act out the action. Children can mirror their partner’s version of each action. They will have to focus on what their partners are doing with their bodies.
You could also choose one child to demonstrate an action for the others. The class can guess or discuss what the child is doing. The children can describe or name what body parts are being used in the demonstration.
Some children might benefit from having a mirror held up so they can see what they are doing and how they are using their bodies. You could have another child hold a handheld safety mirror a short distance away from a child so he can see his whole body doing each gross motor activity.
You may want to use the activity cards and safety mirror in a center. Children can hold the mirror in one hand. The other hand can be used along with their face or shoulders to illustrate each action.
As I mentioned, children are going to want to move after hearing this book, I bet they will love participating in any of the activities mentioned above with or without the gross motor activity cards.
BIO: Deirdre is the author of JDaniel4’s Mom where she shares other learning activities, printables, crafts, and food creations. She loves growing and learning beside her son. You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
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