Health & Fitness
Getting It Together
Young children’s first representative drawings of a person may just be a circle for the head. If the children include parts of the face, they may not even be in the circle-but outside the circle. If there are arms and legs they are probably coming out of the head. Drawing necks or bodies or feet, toes and fingers show up in children’s drawings as they develop body awareness.
Using healthy, colorful food you can support your child’s cognitive development and understanding of representing a person in paper or on a plate.
And, if they are not yet at the stage of development You can encourage children to put it all together– they will have fun eating something healthy for their bodies.
You can encourage children if you think they are ready, by making a person with creative food play or even a whole family.
When you model making a funny food face with the eyes, nose and mouth on the face, children who are at the readiness stage to understand what you’re doing, will observe you carefully and may begin to make food faces like the one you made, with features on the face. It may never have occurred to them before.
If children are putting features on the circle, but still putting arms and legs coming out of the head, you might model a person with a body with the appendages coming out of the body. Some children need many experiences using their limbs before they show up in their drawings or food play. They may be able to identify and name the body parts, but not ready to add them.
Have cut up food ready that might serve as a head and a body, and thinner pieces of food for arms and legs. Observe what they do after you model and you ‘ll learn about their stage of readiness.
Instead of asking what they are making, invite children to tell you about their creation. Give them the freedom to make whatever want. Their creation will let you know what they are able to absorb.
Shapes take on meaning and stand for real things gradually.
In a later stage you may begin to see that everything on the plate sits on a base line instead of floating in space. This is true in drawings, and in placing food on a plate.
No matter what your children make with the healthy food play enjoy it! Let them choose the colors and the shapes. Don’t rush their development.
Remember, they are learning to enjoy eating healthy food.
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