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Recently we picked up some human body books from the library and Z (3.5 years old) is immediately interested. He has never shown an interest before (and if that’s the case I don’t force the issue) but every now and then I bring those books back into rotation to gauge his interest. I find that books are a great (and inexpensive way if you have access to a well-stocked library) to gauge or peak a child’s interest in a subject before buying or creating materials, which can be costly both in time and money.
These are the books that are a hit for him at this age:
My Body — this book has such clean and beautiful illustrations, with lots of opportunities to encourage him to think and participate. This is by far our favourite book.
How Your Body Works — this is a bit more advanced so Z doesn’t ask for this book quite as often, although some pages allow you to hold the page up to the light so you can see the skeleton or body parts through the body (the photo above is taken against the light). I will be picking this book up again when Z is a little older.
Building a skeleton
I mostly borrowed the ideas from the Pinay Homeschooler as she has done such a thorough job! I printed and cut out skeleton parts from here and Z had so much fun putting it together. When M (8 years old) came home from school, we worked on labeling the skeleton and internal organs.
In case you are wondering, the skeleton is about 3′ 3″ tall — it is almost exactly Z’s height and really neat that it was “life size” for Z.
Placing the internal organs
I also printed out some organs for them to place. Unfortunately I didn’t quite get the organs to scale so they look way too big for the skeleton. We get so much vocabulary expansion out of this activity though!
These are some of the materials I want to get for when we are ready to dive deeper.
- The human skeleton nomenclature cards
- Internal organs nomenclature cards
- I want to get a human torso model, but have mixed feelings about budget vs. size. I’ve read some reviews that say the Learning Resources torso is way too small. This one is pretty big at 19″ tall (but so expensive!) Alternatively, I could get this with the more squishy organs. Or a Safari Ltd Human Organs toob. I cannot decide and would love to get your opinion if you already own one!
I hope this has inspired you! For more resources on Montessori Biology activities, I encourage you to check out all the blogs listed below:
Don’t forget to check out my previous posts as part of this 12 Months of Montessori Series:
- Sensorial – Color Mixing
- Zoology – Snails
- Music — Music Appreciation for Young Children
- Math — Introduction to Decimal System