STEAM: Skeletal Study

I have 2 little learners… a recently turned 6 year old and a 2.5 year old.

I have always been terrified of studying human anatomy. Probably because I can’t remember ever really studying it before the dreaded 5th grade health class. Yall know what I’m talkin’ about.

So, finding fun ways to teach about the human body to my little ones is something that is new for me too, but it has been so rewarding.

As an Experience Early Learning (EEL) Blogger, I receive the EEL Preschool Curriculum in exchange for my honest opinions and authentic stories about our experiences using the curriculum. All opinions and thoughts are completely my own.

Last week we studied the Brain using a STEAM station which you can read about here. This week we studied our Skeletal System and both my kids (and myself) had a blast!

We have been using Experience Preschool (formerly Mother Goose Time) for 4 years now, and we have loved everything about it. I am ramping it up for my first grader and keeping it as is for my 2.5 year old, but I love how they can be learning about the same thing even with being 3.5 years apart. This month’s theme is “All About Me,” and each day has a different STEAM station activity.

Building an x-ray with our Loose Letter Parts

For the Skeletal system, the kids explored X-rays. I printed off the X-rays (in our member resources) on vellum and placed them on my light box. The kids were entranced. The STEAM station suggestion was for the kids to use blocks to make their own x-ray. My kiddos used our Loose Letter Parts from last year’s box to build the hand x-ray. Then my little girl used our Melissa and Doug letters to sound out and spell the word “hand.”

Our co-op is using The Good and The Beautiful Human Body unit and my little girl built a model of the spinal cord using Texaroni pasta noodles (we love our great state), gummy lifesavers, and a piece of yarn. When my 2 year old saw her spinal cord, he too wanted to make one. Experience Early Learning had an x-ray of the spine where we could see the vertebrae in our member resources. We pulled up that image on my computer, and then my first grader taught her 2 year old brother how to build his spinal cord model. He worked hard, did not get frustrated, and took his time. Several times he said, “I’m making my pattern!” Loved it!

She is teaching him about patterns and using words like vertebrae and disc when explaining how to make the spinal cord model.

But our study did not end there! Experience Early Learning sent us an amazing Invitation to Create with all the supplies except scissors and glue.

Our Invitation to Create inspirational photo.

The kids and I discussed the colors and shapes we saw in the x-ray and then we went to town creating our own x-rays. In the past, I have not really done these alongside them, but I noticed how much my little girl would struggle with how to use some of the materials. So I worked alongside them, and I watched her as she observed me as I created my x-ray. Once she saw how she could use the chalk and cut a few of the white strips, she turned her paper over and started over again on her x-ray. She had her own idea but she just needed some inspiration about how to use the materials.

2 year old on left, 6 year old in center, and mommas on right.

We finished out our study with the book The Skeleton Inside You during our snack time. I loved this lesson! I wish I had studied more about the human body like this when I was younger. Oh well. I’m grateful I get to do it now with my kiddos.

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