Insides on the outside

by Deb on August 27, 2010

Bones and organs

Look what we did last night!  The little one on the left is a skeleton, the big girl has organs.  This was a first time, so we just chatted while drawing, and after the photos it became a general draw on each other (and Mummy) session.  Including some beautiful vines and flowers.

The girls already know a little bit about skeletons, that’s why we chose that for the little one.  They have t-shirts and have made models as well as seeing chicken bones.  We drew it very simply with lines so it was quick and suited a 2 year old attention span.  While I was doing the ribs the big girl went and got her dinosaur model and got me to identify the bones in there as well.  She was very accommodating and let her sister Organsdraw as well as me, so the big girl got to do one side by copying what I was doing on the other and we talked about both sides being the same.  Then we talked about the similarities between legs and arms, there are only a couple of minor differences at the toddler level.

The big girl has heard of some of the organs, so when we were drawing them we did things like taking a deep breath in for the lungs, and she found her heart by feeling for the beat.  Seeing we were doing it just after dinner it was a good time to talk about the food that was in her stomach, and how it would travel through the rest of her gut.  The idea here is not to worry about details about the organs, but to get kids to connect them to sensations in their own bodies.  They can feel their breath and their heartbeat, and feel and hear their own digestion.

Both of them love playing mothers and know about that babies grow in Mummies’ tummies, so we even drew a tiny uterus and ovaries and I told her that was the special place for the baby to grow.  Plus a little bladder – I pressed gently and asked her what it felt like and she said she needed to wee, which is a great way for them to connect what the bladder is for.


We even did their backs, with little kidneys, a spine, pelvis and shoulder blades.

It’s important to know about our own bodies, to know how they work and what they can and can’t do.  This is a quick and fun way of doing it that can be revisited to talk about different questions or lead to other activities.  This post is part of the We Play linkup at Childhood 101, check it out for heaps of other ideas on playing with your children.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Tenille August 27, 2010 at 12:13 pm

It looks like you all had a ball! Lil will definitely be into this when she gets a bit older; if she manages to snaffle a pen, she doesn’t mind drawing on herself already.
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Christie - HomeGrown August 27, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Wonderful idea! I think I’ll wait until the weather warms up here, but I know my children will love this.


juie August 27, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Fantastic idea! My hubbie is on hols for the next couple of weeks which will give me more time to spend with the big two (2 and 3 yr old)…I plan to search through some of your other fantastic ideas too! Thanks 🙂


Trish August 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm

my boys love to draw on themselves ..great teaching & fun idea but I’ll have to dig out my anatomy books lol
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amandab August 31, 2010 at 8:28 am

What a great way to discuss the parts of the body! Little one looks so proud of her skeleton in that first picture! 🙂


Tina August 31, 2010 at 1:33 pm

This is a wonderful science project, your girls obviously enjoyed it from their big smiles! It’s not a bad way to refresh your knowledge of anatomy too (as a grown up!)…. Fun!
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katepickle September 1, 2010 at 9:37 am

Oh that is such a cool idea!
My girls were so into body parts and skeletons about a year or so ago.. so wish I’d seen this back then!!!


Martianne September 1, 2010 at 11:56 am

Fun and educational! A fantastic idea we may borrow since our son is really into dino’s and bones, bones, bones by default, and since both our children are curious about anatomy. Also, learning more about body parts and science is one of our goals this year. Thank you


Meeks September 2, 2010 at 8:43 pm

What a cute idea! I love the visualisation of knowing where everything is in your body. And thinigs like, your heart doesn’t look like a heart shape at all, and that you have your ribs to protect your vital organs etc etc.


Chapter Forty September 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm

This reminded me of my older brother making intricate plasticine body part models and pretending to do operations. I loved it then and I love your simple but very effective anatomy lessons. I will be trying this one for sure.


Marita September 6, 2010 at 8:36 pm

This is such a brilliant idea. I love it 🙂
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Marita September 7, 2010 at 9:53 am

I emailed the link to my Dad today – he is a doctor – and he gave it two thumbs up also 🙂
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