Although there are 206 bones within the human body, your child may not often think of the numerous parts of the skeleton that help to hold her up every day. Whether your little learner has an interest in anatomy and physiology, is doing a science project or is simply wondering about how her body works, human skeleton games can provide kids with the opportunity to learn scientific facts and discover what lies under the skin.
1. Compare and Contrast
While a teen may understand that what's inside of a human differs from what's under a frog's or cat's skin, your preschooler or young grade schooler may not. Try a compare and contrast game with your child, helping him to understand how he is the same as -- and different from -- other animals. Show your child two pictures or drawings of skeletons -- you can download free versions from educational websites such as Scholastic -- that compare a human with another animal. Help your child to verbally identify similar parts of each skeleton such as the scull, the spinal cord or the finger bones. Ask your child to tell you how these bones look different in the animal and the human.
2. Art Games
If your child is the creative type, an artsy skeleton game can help her to learn about the human form and the science of anatomy. Younger children, in preschool and under, can make a basic drawing that helps them to understand the most simple parts of the skeleton such as the leg bones and skull. Give your child a white crayon or piece of white chalk and have her draw skeleton lines onto a piece of dark construction paper. Older kids can construct their own skeleton by gluing cut pieces of white straws onto card stock or cardboard. Encourage your child to cut the straws to different sizes to represent different lengths of bones. For example, the rib bones are shorter than the thigh -- also known as the femur -- bone.
3. Matching Games
Create your own skeleton matching bones that will help your child to remember the names of the bones. Review a labeled picture of the human skeleton that features the vocabulary for the main bones. Medical, educational or pediatrics websites, such as KidsHealth or Crayola, have illustrated pictures that are easy for kids to understand. Print out the picture minus the labels. Make your own labels on cut pieces of index cards. Have your child match the labels to each part of the body. It's unnecessary to label each of the 206 bones. Instead, choose key, easy-to-remember, parts such as the skull, humerus, rib or sternum.
4. Online Games
Your tech-savvy child may enjoy an interactive computer game that features the human skeleton. ABCYa.com has a bone labeling game that provides kids of all ages the chance to drag and drop names to various parts of the skeleton. Likewise, the neoK12 website provides kids with labeling games. This site also offers quiz type games for older kids in middle and high school, as well as vocabulary activities. Sporcle has a similar labeling game, with an added challenge of beating a ticking clock.
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