Learning about the skeleton inside of you!

Building on the interests of your students makes their learning meaningful!

With spring upon us, I was chomping at the bit to start exploring bugs, flowers, gardening – you know – all that springy stuff but my students had a different idea in mind. They wanted to do a Skeleton Day! So smack in the middle of our first week of spring, we stopped to explore the skeletons inside our bodies.

I am quite sure that my students actually wanted to study scary skeletons since several of my students are still talking about Halloween but I took their interest a little different direction instead. After all, it is spring!

Following the Interests of the Children

One of the things I have been trying to do is invest more time and planning in ideas that the children come up with. I have always prepared a classroom environment and ideas that I feel my students would truly be interested in and I have had great success in keeping my students engaged and excited about learning. But still, I want to see if I can do even better so I listened to my students request for a skeleton day, well actually they insisted, and said yes to their request. I spent about a week looking for ways to present skeletons to the children then we planned our skeleton day. The morning started off terrific with a mystery skeleton on the math table, hidden beneath a large sheet of black paper, and my students were already loving it!

Exploring the Human Skeleton

When we removed the paper, the children found the most beautiful skeleton (that Miss Sascha had made out of Model Magic clay) laying on the table. The bones were kind of fragile so the children were going to have to be gentle with them but I wasn’t worried.  This skeleton was simply for discussion. Later, the children hid all the bones in the sand table for play.

Discussing Human Anatomy

We talked about the different kinds of bones that were on the table. The children made guesses as to which bones were what and did very well with most of their guesses. The head bone was easy but it was actually the most fragile of all the bones we had out.

Then we went down the body of bones. The head, neck, rib cage, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand and fingers. Of course, our bones weren’t exactly anatomically correct but the children got the idea and loved talking about them.  We worked our way down the spine to the hip bone and then, well I am kind of hesitant to say this, the discussion was all about the “penis bone.”

Of course, I corrected the children and told them that this was the tail bone but all my efforts to get them back on track were pretty much over ruled and unheard with all the excitement. At least the children were all comfortable talking in anatomically correct terms.

Making Learning Hands-On

So I simply redirected their attention by inviting them all to pick up a bone of their choice and then pass it along to a neighbor.

The children were quite fascinated with the bones and after the bones made it around to all the children we were ready to take them downstairs for further play.

In my next post, I will share with you another fun and very simple way we explored the skeletons inside of us.

Have a wonderful day and remember to take care of the skeleton inside of you!

Available on Amazon


Links to Grow On

Exploring the inside of our outside by Teach Preschool

We made caterpillars in preschool by Teach Preschool

Tons of Spring Fun on Pinterest

By |2019-01-03T17:21:39+00:00April 3rd, 2016|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Barbara Math April 4, 2016 at 8:36 am - Reply

    Love the skeleton idea. How did she make it so big? Did she use moulds?

  2. Erica Reeves April 4, 2016 at 9:42 am - Reply

    This is wonderful! My girls have been talking about our skeletons and how they work! Love how you have covered the subject, and may very well give this a try. Thank you, and I am really enjoying your posts! Keep up the good work!

  3. Sanjiv Gunasekara April 4, 2016 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    That’s great that you took the time to teach your kids about the skeletal system! Very creative and educational. I’m actually teaching my kids about bones and learning some new cool things about it myself! The moldings you made I think are better to start off with than the human sized skeleton as it could be intimidating to some kids. Great alternative!

  4. Holmdel Preschool April 5, 2016 at 4:33 pm - Reply

    I love this story. In high school, I always found that the most powerful lessons were structured by the instructor, but initiated by the students. Based on this principle, I’ll bet that this lesson will stick with these kids long through their educational careers 🙂

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. April 5, 2016 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      “the most powerful lessons were structured by the instructor, but initiated by the students” – that is a wonderful statement!!

  5. Jackie May 3, 2016 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Oh, Deborah! I love your skeleton! She did such a great job making those bones. What a beautiful activity. I would love to make some of the bones for the hooligans!

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