Starter: What do we know about our bodies: on the outside? on the inside? While there’s lots happening on the outside that you can see, such as scratching an itch, eating lunch and running around, there’s even more happening inside. More than what we see when we look in the mirror. There are different parts that have different jobs, but each part works together so we can eat, sleep, sit in class and play with friends. Our body is a pretty amazing thing! Let's find out more!
Watch this clip for kids about how bodies work
Play Simon Says: Parent goes first. Then give the kids a turn to lead.
Anatomy for Kids 1 - PLAYDOUGH BODY MAP Get a large piece of paper (or stick a few together). Your kid can lie down on top of the paper while you trace around their body to draw a life-size body map. Switch around and they can do it for you too. Print these anatomy cards and then whip out the playdough/plasticine for kids to sculpt the organs on top of the cards. Use this apron as a guide for shape and placement - then plot the playdough organ on the body map. You can mention bones and muscles if you want. You can also use the cards as part of a game, either before or after.
Anatomy for Kids 2 - WEARABLE HUMAN BODY: Gather brown paper grocery bags, pasta, plastic bags, yarn, straws, and other things, including lungs that really inflate when you blow them up through the straw! See how to build it with more helpful pictures.
Mr/s Potato Head: Grab a real potato and build Mr/s Potato using craft items or other food items (with minimal wastage but an opportunity to see food in a new light). Here is an example with craft and here is an example with other food items.
'OUTSIDE' OUR BODIES
Nose: What does our nose do? Breathing, smell. Did you know we also have little tiny hairs inside our noses, which help stop too much dirt getting inside? Play a 'sense of smell' guessing game: gather household items like cinnamon, perfume, paper cup, sticky tape, paper, clothes from each person (do they smell like that person?)
Those are all the things that come IN through our nose - what comes OUT of our nose? Snot! Let's make some snot! Here's an oobleck recipe: Mix 2 cups of cornstarch to 1 cup of water into a bowl, until your oobleck is formed. Tip: add food colouring to the water, then mix with the cornstarch.
Hands: trace your child's hand or draw over-sized hands on cardboard or paper. Add nails and put nailpolish/paint on the nails. Add rings with markers or playdough or any other craft items you have. (pic credit)
Teeth: great chance to reiterate the importance of brushing. Simulate this with a drawing/printout of teeth, place inside a plastic sleeve, use a dry-erase marker to draw dirt and pictures on the teeth, then kids need to use the brush to wipe off the dirt. Repeat. (pic credit)
'INSIDE' OUR BODIES
Brain: Pinch your nose, wiggle your toes, lift up your right leg. Think about your favourite food. Try to remember the last time that you ate it. Now place both hands around your head. What do you feel? Something hard? That’s your skull –big bones. It’s like a shell protecting something inside – what is inside? Your brain. What does a brain look like? Soft pasta. Our brains are very important because they keep the rest of our bodies working, including things we don’t ever have to think about like our lungs breathing and our hearts beating. While we’re sleeping we don’t realise it but even then our brains are working hard to keep everything running smoothly.
Since our brains take such good care of us, it’s important for us to take care of them. We must protect our head. Like an egg: the inside is very runny. The shell helps protect it - like our skull. But a even an egg shell can get hurt and cracked. That's why when we ride bikes/scooters etc, we wear a helmet. Today we're going to do that - build a helmet - for an egg! Pre-boil some eggs, then try work out and build with your kid/s different ways to protect the egg so that it doesn't break. If you're game, google the 'egg drop experiment' for something a little more challenging.
Lungs: When we breathe in air from our nose and mouth, it goes down a tunnel called the oesophegous and into our lungs. Watch this 3-min clip to help kids visualise. Then make an easy interactive lung model with paper and balloons. Start by having your child draw lungs on paper. Then, punch a hole through each lobe shape and string a balloon through. Have your child blow into the balloons to see how the lungs expand and contract with air as they breathe! See pictures here.
Sid the Science Kid
The Magic School Bus: “Inside Ralphie”, “For Lunch” or “Flexes Its Muscles”
For older kids: the movie 'Inside Out'