Skeletal system & preschool activities

Written by stephanie jenkins
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Skeletal system & preschool activities
Teach your preschoolers about the skeletal system with activities. (skeleton image by Wingnut Designs from Fotolia.com)

The skeletal system provides the framework--the shape, form and support--for the bodies of humans and animals, according to Minnesota State University's EMuseum. It allows movement, protects organs, produces blood cells and stores needed minerals. You can teach preschool children about the skeletal system by doing activities that are both interesting and geared to their stage of cognitive development.

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Skeleton Puzzle

Preschool children enjoy working on simple jigsaw puzzles. Presenting your preschool students with a human skeleton puzzle will not only teach them about the bones of the body but also encourage coordination development, according to GreatSchools.org. Invest in a skeleton floor puzzle and break your students into small groups of two to three children to assemble the pieces while the other students work on a colouring activity. Floor puzzles feature very few pieces so your students won't become frustrated as they learn about the major bones in the body. After each group of students completes the skeleton puzzle, hold up each puzzle piece in front of the class and tell your preschoolers the common name of the bone. For example, show your students the femur and explain to them that it is the thigh bone. Ask the children to point to the location of their thigh bones.

Dry Bones Music Time

If your students have a designated music and movement period during the school day, introduce them to "Dry Bones"---a popular children's song that describes how bones are connected. The lyrics are simple and available at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences website, along with the music to the song. Have your preschool students stand beside their desk and point to each area of their body as that particular bone is introduced.

Match the Skeletal System Game

The human skeletal system is distinct from animal skeletons, and preschoolers should be able to identify the differences. Print pictures of a human and a human skeleton, then do the same for 10 to 15 animals--a dog, a fish, a bird, an elephant, a giraffe, etc. Make small copies of the pictures to be distributed to each of your students in a sandwich bag for a matching activity. Provide your students with construction paper and paste so they can match each animal with its skeleton and paste them together on the construction paper. Post your students' work on the classroom notice board.

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