Hesperian Health Guides
How a child learns to know where she is
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A child who can see uses her eyes to know where she is and where objects are. A child who cannot see well needs to know these things too, but she must learn to use her other senses. When she does, she will be able to move around her home and later become active in the community. To learn how to orient herself:
|she must learn
body is in
The door is right in front of me.
From the door, the woodpile is just ahead, on the right.
You can help your child learn orientation skills by: (1) teaching her about her body and the way it can move, (2) helping her develop her senses, which give important information about her surroundings, and (3) thinking about things around your home or neighborhood that she can use as landmarks.
A child learns the names of the parts of her body by watching and imitating other people. A child who cannot see well will learn the names of different parts of her body when you teach her to use her sense of hearing and touch. For activities that help a young baby learn about her body and develop her senses, see Chapter 5, “Activities for the Young Baby.” Many of these activities are also good for older children.
To help your child learn the names of different parts of her body
Make up games in which you ask your child to do things with different parts of her body and with your body. To give you some ideas, here are a few examples:
Ask your child to touch part of her body and
then touch the same part on your body.
Ask your child to roll over on the floor and name each part of her body as it touches the floor. This is a good group game too.
Wrap a cloth around different parts of your child's body and ask her to take it off. Explain the name for each part of the body and what it does.
Encourage your child to nod her head, kick, and to wave — and name the body part she uses.
To help your child learn about the relationship between her body and other objects
Your child needs to learn ideas like "in front of you" and "to your left" to know where things are. Here are some ways to help her learn.
Try getting her attention with a noisy toy. Tell her where the toy is — in front, behind, or on the right or left side. Then move the toy, tell her where it is, and see if she can find it herself.
After she can tell the right side of her body from the left side, hand her different objects and ask her to put them on one side or the other. Gradually make the games harder.
underneath the table. Let's
see if you can find it.
Make up a game in which she gets underneath things (like a table or a bed), on top of things (like a bed), in between or around things (like a table and chairs), through things (like a door) and inside things (like a big box). Explain what each movement is.
Make up different games in which she must move her body forward, backward, or sideways in order to find a toy. Explain what each movement is. If you make up a song that names each movement, she will remember them better.