Make a Life Size Body Map to Help Kids Learn Anatomy

13 December

Teach Kids Anatomy with a Life Size Body Map

I totally stole this idea from Pink and Green Mama; it just seemed like such a good way to introduce parts of the body! I have actually been waiting for a chance to do it! This week seemed great since we are going to be talking about doctors for the letter D.  I was actually a bit nervous about starting it though. I was afraid it would take too long, or my little monster would be into it.  I got lucky, and after we had everything prepped (which I did while the girls were playing), it only took a couple hours.  We were pretty much finished by the time Eli woke up from his nap! It could certainly be done over a few days though.

I started by drawing an outline of each of the girls on a piece of brown craft paper and tracing it with a black marker. We actually did this the day before.  Having just one piece done made the task a little less daunting for me!
Life Size Body Map to help kids learn anatomy

Then I measured their arms and legs to know about how big to make the bones.  I drew a rough outline of the arm and leg bones on white paper, folded in half, and cut two of each.  Pink and Green Mama had the right idea using white masking tape; silly me didn't read it before starting though. So I didn't have everything I needed; no big surprise there.

Teaching Kids Skeletal Anatomy with a Life Size Body Map

We glued on the bones for the arms and the legs, and I had them add little rectangles for the vertebrae. You can see how unrealistic this is when you count that they have like 8 or so vertebrae.  I did add a little triangle for the tail bone.  We talked about having a pelvis bone, but I didn't add one. It would have just been covered up!

Kids Learn about the Skeleton with a Life Size Body Map

I cut Q-tips for the fingers and toes.  I  cut them in three size, and used the shorter two for fingers and the longer two for toes. Again not real precise as we only had 2 in each finger, and no hand or foot bones.
Q-tips as Finger Bones for our Body Map Anatomy Project

Kids can Learn Anatomy with a Body Map Project

Now we moved onto the organs. I don't know if their is a right order to do this in as we did end up doing some re-gluing along the way to get things to fit.  We started by adding a heart. The girls were confused because it didn't look like the "heart" shape they know. I showed them a picture of an actual heart and they were fine with it!

Add a Heart and Lungs to the Life Size Body Map

We added some bubble wrap lungs.

Then we moved on to the digestive system. I cut them both stomachs and then realized they might need kidneys first. SO we went back and added some kidneys. Then a stomach.

Kids learn organ anatomy with a life size body map

Then I had them add a liver with a little green balloon piece for a gallbladder.  The gallbladder is completely unnecessary for this project, but I thought it was cute. 

For the esophagus and small intestine, I cut crepe paper streamers in half. We went to add an esophagus and ran into problems because of our liver. So, at least on Bria's, we had to remove the liver, add the esophagus, and replace the liver.

Kids Learn the Anatomy of the Digestive System with a Body Map

We just added a wad of crepe paper streamer for the small intestine.  SO scientific I know, bit I don't think the girls really cared about the different portions of small intestine.  I am happy if they remember it IS small intestine!

Added a different colored (and uncut) streamer for the large intestine. And look we haven't added a bladder.  Well I realize in real life the bladder would sit in front of the large intestine, but we couldn't get it to stick to the crepe paper as well.  So we went ahead and added it and then glued down our large intestine.

Teach Kids Human Anatomy with a Body Map

We moved back up to our head after completing our digestive (and urinary tracks).  I know we left out a few things (pancreas, adrenal glands, etc), but I think this was a lot already for a 4 and 5 year old!

They wanted a yellow brain, so I cut one out of paper and let them draw on it.  Had I been thinking I would have used fun foam and had them etch in it instead.  

Add a Brain to your Body MapKids make a Body Map to Learn Anatomy

We added white circles for eye, and they drew on a pupil.  We were going to use beans for teeth, but they chose to just draw on mouths instead.

Eyes are added to the Life Size Body map

Tried adding teeth to our body map

Somewhere in there I cut them a little muscle to add to one of their arms.  I could tell they were tired when they asked if we could just do one muscle!  We also added half of a rib cage, so they could see how the ribs protected their heart and lungs.  I asked if they wanted half of a skull, and they said no. So we were done!

Hand's on Anatomy Learning for KidsBody Map Anatomy Project for Kids

We hung them on the dining room wall, so we can use them to review.  I have a feeling people may not want to have dinner here for a while unless they like being starred at by the bodies on the wall!

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