Love your guts! Learning anatomy with kids

1a Anatomy is one of my older one’s, Sunshine’s, most favorite subjects. Don’t ask me why – the answer is as mysterious to me. We were studding the skeleton this week, upon completion of our skeleton model he peted the ugly set of bones and fondly declared: “He is so cute! Let’s name him Sunshine, just like me.” I felt a little stupid, but I couldn’t agree with either of those statement. Definitions of cute cast aside, I prefer not to use my family members names for something like this… “All right, Mom, can we name him Smiles, like the baby?” What did I say about the family members’ names? If you missed our whole learning revolution, or rather reorganization, or you would like to investigate the materials from our other categories, view our categories or even entire MS Word file with all subjects gathered in one long document. My Categories. Categories – Materials and ToDo lists (MS document)

Materials Useful for Learning Anatomy

Books: Web: DVD: Magic School Bus – Human Body. PowerPoint Presentations: See more at

Unit 1 – Body Organs

Unit 2 – 5 Senses

  1. Teachable Touchables Texture Squares Originally we got this one for the baby, Smiles. But nobody could keep their hands off it! The box contained a booklet with games and it turned out to be a perfect (and educational) family game that could be enjoyed by all family members, including the baby. The baby, Smiles, loved touching, taking it in and out of the bag, mouthing and giving to us. The four year old, Sunshine, was enjoying the competitive aspect of the games – let’s collect pairs, let’s match them by design, etc. What’s included? Pairs of different squares (felt, fur, silk, rubbery net, shiny reflective one, cotton, fleece, leather, a few others) that can be matched as a pair, or as a set of different materials, or even by the look: dots, stripes. Well worth it.
  2. Books:
  3. Web:
    • ii. ScienceWithMe project on five senses:
    • ScienceWithMe project on tasting:

Unit 3 – Digestive System

    1. Spill Your Guts Human Body Game I loved the idea of having body organs and a game all in one. We still haven’t played it as a game, because the game is designed for much older kids. We had this game since my son was about 18 months – we just would handle each organ, find a place for it in a body (with mommy watching like a hawk so that her precious Sunshine doesn’t swallow some tiny body organs). I wish I found felt models or bigger models – in this game we miss a few important organs – brain and bladder. We ended up making them with playdough.
    2. Human Body Anatomy Model
    3. Human Anatomy Floor Puzzle
    4. Books:

i. What Happens to a Hamburger? (Let’s-Read-and-Find… Science 2) by Paul Showers and Edward Miller I absolutely loved that this book contained plenty of “experiments”: chew a carrot for 10 seconds and see the beginnings of digestive system… dissolve sugar in a water glass… With this hands on approach it is a lot easier to understand all the concepts and processes.

ii. Where Does Your Food Go (Rookie Read-About Health) by Wiley Blevins My son always loved this book. We had it since he was 18 months and he really couldn’t get enough of it. As all Rookie Read books, it has good illustrations, large fonts for kids to read by themselves, but we are still reading it together and discussing every page, every picture.

iii. The Magic School Bus Inside the Human Body – Paperback (Oct 1, 1990) by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen This is one of the older editions of the MagicSchoolBus books. This book contains LOTS of facts. Actually, I find these books too busy: it is hard to read, since we are distracted by comics-like conversations, notes-like facts on the side, illustrations, and actual story. Usually it takes us a whole week to complete a book like this. I take it to my advantage – we read, take a break, discuss it, and the next day my Sunshine tells me in his own words what we’ve read, so that mommy knows where we should start reading again. Or mommy tells in her own words – repetition never hurts anyone. Nevertheless we like new editions that follow the TV show much better.

    1. TV/DVDs

i. Magic School Bus “For Lunch”. It is part of “Human Body” DVD.

Unit 4 – Skeletal system

    1. Books:
i. The Skeleton Inside You (Let’s-Read-and-Find… Science 2) by Philip Balestrino and True Kelley excellent, excellent, fun book about skeleton and bone functions! Good illustrations and immediately captivated my little one – “Mom, let’s read it again!” – was his verdict. ii. Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body (Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library) – Hardcover (Aug 26, 2003) by Tish Rabe and Aristides Ruiz One mf my son’s most favorite books. In fun rhymes it talks about the body and what it consists off. Not as scientific as the other books in this list, but an excellent fun introduction for the youngest. iii. You Have Healthy Bones! (Rookie Read-About H… by Susan DerKazarian The Skeleton Inside You had pretty much the same information but in a more fun way. These books can be read by a kid by himself – they have large fonts, little text, but if you are still reading it together, then, I’d pick “The Skeleton Inside You”.
    1. Toys-games-puzzles:
i. Putting together a skeleton model. We tried Human Anatomy Model by Learning Resources: Fairly small, not all bones come apart, but it’s for the good – I hope this will help this model to last longer. My 4 year old anatomy lover can’t put the skeleton together by himself, but it’s not surprising – the toy is oriented for older kids. Nevertheless, touching the bones, rearranging them on the tray as I help to put it together, seeing how bones work, trying to figure out where they should be located – is an excellent learning experience. Red markings of muscles – are really useless, but ability to open and close the jaws – was an instant hit! ii. Your Body: 5 layer puzzle Beleduc Your Body – Boy 5-Layer Puzzle Excellent! While each layer of the puzzle is not so hard, it is still very educational: it is very nice to show how bones (lowest layer of the puzzle) are covered with muscle (layer 2 of the puzzle), followed by skin (layer 3) and cloth – layer 4. iii. Skeletons in the closet game:
    1. PPT: