Making Homeschool Fun

January 7, 2012

Skeletal System Activities and Crafts

To go along with our skeletal system lesson, we did some creative activities. I’ve just now had a chance to post them, but they go with this post here: Science Lesson on Skeletal System

 

First we made Mr. Bones. The kids loved cutting out the pieces and we hooked them together with brads. (Okay, we don’t have brads. Instead, i took twist-ties – from bread wrappers, from the produce section at the grocery store, from a package of trash bags – cut them in half, and formed them like a brad.) I hung our skeletons on the wall and the kids enjoy moving them. Mr. Bones was almost as tall as my 7-year-old, which made him not only realistic, but also fun.

cursive name skeletons

 

We have been working on handwriting, so this cursive lesson was perfect. We folded a sheet of white paper and then the girls wrote their names in cursive along the fold. I did TJ’s for him, because after he saw that the girls made Mr. Bones, he wanted to join us for school. We cut out our names, even in the holes of letters, making sure to keep the fold intact. When the paper was opened, it became the body of a skeleton. The kids cut out skulls, arms, and legs to add to their picture. I got this idea from Pinterest.

skeleton hand craft

Next we did a fabulous art project that resembled an x-ray of a hand. I mixed and matched some different art projects that i found on Pinterest for this one, and it turned out beautifully. I put some white tempera paint in a spray bottle and added a little water to water it down. Then i had the kids lay their hands on a sheet of black construction paper and i sprayed the paint on their hand. You read that right. I sprayed white paint on my children. They LOVED this. I mean, what child wouldn’t??

hand x-ray craft

hand x-ray craft

After washing up, we used glue and cotton swabs to construct the bones of our hand. My girls were able to cut the swabs to the right size, but i helped my 3-year-old, of course. However, he was able to glue the swabs where i showed him with no problem. My only regret is we didn’t do this before Halloween, because these look kinda spooky hanging on our wall.

 

x-ray lesson craft

 

One of the other things we did to help understand how the skeleton protects the body was make noodle necklaces. You can see Annie in the middle above with her pasta necklace. I gave my children a piece of yard and asked them to squeeze it in their hand. I asked them what happened to the yarn? Did it keep its shape? Then we talked about how the skeleton protects us. I compared the yarn to a spinal column and the pasta to the vertebrae in a spine. We then made our necklaces. We used wagon wheels, but only because that’s all we had that would fit the yarn i had. Next, i had the kids squeeze the necklace in their hand. Could they crush the yarn as they had before? (Of course not, silly, it’s surrounded by a pasta vertebrae!) We painted our pasta after we strung it to make pretty necklaces. We filled in the booklet that went with this lesson.

 

We are done with the skeletal system and are moving on to another body system now.

November 8, 2011

Science Lesson on the Skeletal System


Click here for more info

We are trying out a Magic School Bus science kit called “A Journey Into the Human Body.” We’ve only done one experiment and i already have some complaints.

The instructions said to soak a chicken bone in vinegar “overnight or longer.” A week later, with chicken bones in a jar of vinegar in my kitchen, the experiment finally worked. I looked like some odd, mad scientists… one who torments chickens for their leg bones. Of course, i’m wondering if they were supposed to be raw chicken bones? The manual didn’t specify, but i didn’t think they’d want kids to be handling raw chicken. Plus, i would have thought they’d include a warning about handling raw poultry if that was the case. At any rate, it took forever for our chicken bones to be pliable.

Chicken Bone Experiment

Crazy, mad scientist with a thing for chickens.

Another issue i have with the kit is that there are no printables. If my kids just watch something, they are a heck of a lot less likely to remember it. I like to give them little fun activities to do along with their experiments. Of course, i made my own. We used this worksheet, but i adapted ours to match each experiment. This one is a general sheet that can be used for all of the experiments in the kit.

I gave the kids each a manila envelope to keep their Top Secret experiments safe.

Top Secret EnvelopeI also researched the topic to expand it a little. We compared the outside of a bone to the inside by using a rock and a sponge.

Lesson on Skeletal System

But even with its shortcomings, i still think that this may be a pretty good kit for the price. It cost under $20 and has 11 experiments with most everything you need for each experiment. (It did not come with chicken bones. That would be just weird.) It also has a giant poster with all of the human systems discussed in the experiments and large stickers that the kids place on the poster as they cover each topic.

Again, you’ll need to add some of your own information to the poster. The booklet and experiments cover the skeletal system, for example, while the sticker is of various bones by name. Luckily, we had already done a bones of the body lesson a few years back, so my kids already knew what an ulna or a tibia was. =)

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