Frequently Asked Questions

Does THE GREAT BODY SHOP meet the Head Start Performance Standards for Health Instruction?

Yes! We worked with National and Regional Directors for Head Start to articulate exactly which performance standards could be met through THE GREAT BODY SHOP.

Here they are:

  • Health Performance Standard 1304.21(c)(I)(iii)
  • Child development and education approach for preschoolers
  • Grantees and delegate agencies, in collaboration with parents, must implement a curriculum that: integrates all educational aspects of health, nutrition, and mental health services into program activities
  • National Health and Safety Performance Standards
  • PR55 Centers… shall use age-appropriate health education materials … when taken home will educate parents as well children.
  • PR56 All health education activities shall be geared to the developmental age and take into account individual personalities and interests.
  • PR57 Health education shall include physical, mental, oral and social health and shall be integrated daily in the program of activities.

Does THE GREAT BODY SHOP fit with Creative Curriculum?

Absolutely! THE GREAT BODY SHOP integrates nicely with this program. Using compatible Interest Areas, suggestions for Special Needs students, parental partnerships, and learning activities for the developmental components, you will find many parallels without duplication. THE GREAT BODY SHOP focuses on health education and makes specific suggestions on how to modify health related Interest Areas to support emergent literacy, mathematical and scientific thinking. The philosophies of both programs are compatible.

Does THE GREAT BODY SHOP utilize developmentally appropriate practices?

We wouldn’t have it any other way! We consulted the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s guidelines for developmental appropriate practices for 3-5 year olds. Upon closer examination of the teacher’s guide, it will become obvious that learning experiences, teaching strategies, motivational methods and curriculum integration reflect these recommendations. In addition, the five developmental components: literacy, cognitive, socio-emotional, physical and aesthetic development make up the foundation for both Circle Time learning and Interest Area activities.

What is the reasoning behind THE GREAT BODY SHOP sequence of topics?

THE GREAT BODY SHOP was originally designed for elementary schools. At the elementary level, teachers often began their year exploring topics related to safety and rules at the beginning of the year and moved to more sensitive topics, like drugs toward the end of the year. Since the request for the Pre-K program came from those schools, we designed the Pre-K program to parallel the elementary themes. In this way an entire school, Pre-K – 6th grade could focus on one theme.

Why does it make sense for Pre-K to have the same sequence of themes even if they aren’t associated with an elementary school?

Less sensitive topics are covered in the program first. Safety is first, since all children need to learn to follow rules and directions. More sensitive topics, including personal safety, HIV and drugs are left to the later part of year, when the classroom teacher has had ample time to develop a trusting relationship with the child. However, since THE GREAT BODY SHOP is a spiral curriculum, topics are often covered in multiple places throughout the curriculum and repeat in several contexts. In this way, children receive numerous opportunities to apply the skills they have learned. For example, hand washing is a hygiene routine that is found in safety, nutrition and illness prevention themes. Although the theme “Clean and Dirty” appears late in the year, due to the HIV content, hygiene is actually introduced as a health and safety routine early in the year This one concept (hygiene) spirals through the curriculum, giving children the opportunity to practice the hygiene skills in a variety of settings.

Can I order the program in other languages? If so, which ones?

The Student Issues are printed in Spanish as well as English. The Parent Bulletins are translated into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian, and other languages where sufficient need exists.

How soon after ordering are materials shipped?

Materials are shipped usually within three weeks.

How do I arrange for training?

Speak with the program consultant in your area, e-mail us or call our office.

How long is the training?

The training is planned with your school district’s needs in mind. Basic orientation is usually three hours. See Training.

What is the cost of your training?

Training costs vary depending on the kind of training and the length of the session. Call our Training Department to discuss costs of training, 1-800-782-7077.

How does the program address parent involvement?

We never forget that parents are the primary educators of their children. THE GREAT BODY SHOP has the strongest parent component of any health education curriculum program that we know of. Parents are encouraged to participate at home, in the school and in the community.

How does the program link to community resources?

THE GREAT BODY SHOP has firm community roots. The program had its origin in a hospital based education program. While our primary focus is educating families, communities are the larger family that also must be healthy to nuture the families within. Lessons throughout the program address ways students and their families can contribute to the community and benefit from its resources.


The Children’s Health Market works with an editorial team of experts in health and education to produce the program.

Who created the biographies for the characters?

The biographies for the characters were in large part created by multi-cultural focus groups from different parts of the country.

Does Dr. Smartstuff have an e-mail address?

Yes, and he is happy to receive letters from students everywhere, parents, and even grandparents.