Body-from teeth to T-cells: lessons in anatomy and hygiene

Much before V was one year of age, we started pointing out different body parts to her. The most obvious and easy ones were eyes, nose and the likes. But they were just the beginning.

“Why do I have to brush my teeth everyday?”

V started teething at 4 months, and by her second birthday, had all her 20 teeth. Which is why, it feels like we have been brushing her teeth for a really long time. Obviously, on many days we go through the whole, ” I’m feeling lazy, amma. Let’s not brush our teeth today!’ routine.That is when we introduced bacteria and germs. This was a pretty simple activity. Once you brush, you can actually see the germs vanishing.

Internal body organs

Once we knew the names of all the important external organs, she started getting curious about the internal ones.”Where does the food we eat go?” or “Why does my tummy hurt if I don’t poop?” led to a lot of research on the digestive and excretory system. She doesn’t know about the heart but surprised me one day by saying, “Amma, take care of your head. The brain is inside it and we think using the brain.” 
We went on to explore the different systems of the body as layers.

Blood and body

V has been in awe of blood. Like why is it in red colour? Or why does it ooze out when we scrape our skin? Recently she had a bad bout of fever and wanted to know why she gets tired when she has a fever.She already had an idea about energy from food. The concept of more energy needed in fighting bacteria just came naturally.
We speak a lot about immunology, bacteria that enter the body and the T-cells that recognise it as foreign and destroy them. She calls them Vivikthya cells though. We had fun trying to figure out possible scenarios where bacteria enter our bodies. 
Recently, we did a blood themed sensory bin with water beads, and oh! The fun that we had!

Where are the germs?-STEM activity

We also tried figuring how germs spread. Somehow, one thing led to another and here we were, discussing hygiene. We did a simple experiment, where we placed 2 bread slices on the window sill. She sneezed on one. And in 24 hours, we found more germs and growth on the same slice of bread.


We have since, tried to incorporate hygiene and cleanliness consciously into our daily routine. Putting wet clothes away, covering our mouth while sneezing, washing window panes, cleaning the table after meals are part of her chores . And she does them enthusiastically because she knows why we need to do it.


We love the Usborne See inside the Human body for toddlers, and Inside your Outside by Dr.Seuss for slightly older kids.


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