We are continuing our BODY Anatomy Unit Study by exploring how the amazing body mechanism works. It can be hard for a child to conceptualize what goes on the inside when most of the process remains unseen while taking place on a very small scale. So I try to make abstract concepts concrete with hands-on materials, puzzles and interactive fun so that the child gets a better understanding of how the body works.
To illustrate different body systems, I made "Organ System Puppets" using recycled ice-pop sticks and interactive LeapFrog stickers which work with Tag Reading System Pen (buy here). LeapFrog interactive human body discovery set (buy here ) includes a jumbo two-sided activity board, which offers a child a hands-on opportunity to learn human body facts, body systems, health nutrition and more. And to make human organs as concrete and tangible as possible, we are also using organs from a Human Torso model (buy here).
Adrian really enjoys assembling this Boy 5-Layer BODY Wooden Puzzle (buy here) which includes five puzzle systems that exist within the human body: skeletal, respiratory, digestive, muscular, and integumentary system.
Muscles make up 40% of your total body weight. To take one step, you use 200 of them! Also, you can be using nearly 2,000 muscles when you wake up in the morning and go to brush your teeth! Muscles cannot push, they rather pull. So a perceived body "push" is actually another muscle's pull. Did you know that it takes triple the amount of muscles to frown than to smile? And, guess what is the strongest muscle in your body - the tongue!
Our heart, the only muscle that never stops working, is relentlessly supplying our body with life-potent oxygen and nutrients, even when we are sleeping. However, in addition to functioning as a natural pump and producing blood full of oxygen, the heart also creates its own electrical impulse while producing electrical energy as well as blood. Carrying nutrients and oxygen from your heart to the other parts of your body, bloodplays an important part in your body’s function. Laid end to end, an adult’s blood vessels could circle Earth’s equator four times!
The digestive system has two main functions: to convert food into nutrients the body needs and second, to rid the body of waste. To do so properly, the system requires the cooperation of a number of different organs throughout the body, including the mouth, stomach, intestines, liver, and gallbladder.
Did you know?
- The large intestine is actually shorter than the small intestine, only being about 5 feet long in an adult. The intestines are named for how wide they are, not how long they are.
- 90% of what we eat is assimilated in the small intestine.
- In your lifetime, the digestive system (mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver) will handle over 50 tons of food and liquid!
The liver is the largest and most metabolically complex internal organ in humans, performing over 500 various functions such as neutralizing toxins, fighting off infection, manufacturing proteins and hormones, controlling blood sugar and helping to clot the blood. Did you know that the liver is the only organ that can regenerate itself, making it possible for one person to donate part of their liver to another person?
Humans cannot survive for a long time without oxygen. The longest period a person was ever able to hold the breath was six minutes. Lungs are responsible for receiving, filtering, and distributing that air throughout the entire body. The surface area of the lungs is very big (up to 800 ft2!) because the inside of the lungs is covered in tiny bumps called alveoli, which help lungs absorb more oxygen all at once. Did you know that your left lung is about 10 percent smaller than your right one?
Other fun facts about the BODY (for more read here):
- Human bodies give off a tiny amount of light, which is too weak however for the eye to see.
- Neuroscientists have found your brain is more active while you sleep than while you are awake.
- Babies don’t shed tears until they are at least one month old.
- Human bones are around 31% water.
- When you listen to music, your heartbeat changes in response to the tempo of what you’re listening to.
- Your pinky finger is responsible for 50% of your hand’s strength.
- Our mouth produces about one liter of saliva each day (which equals to more than 2.5 cans of your favorite drink)!
- The average person has 67 different species of bacteria in their belly button.
- Scientists estimate that the nose can recognize a trillion different scents!
- Sneezes regularly escape your nose at more than 100 mph, the speed which is excessive if driving in America. Coughs often can get up to 60 mph. (That’s about how fast you can drive on most highways.)
- You lose about 4kg of skin cells every year! (Not to mention losing 100-125 hairs per day, from a stack of about 100,000 hairs on one's head).
- Human teeth are just as strong as shark teeth.
- Humans are the only species known to blush – Horray to human humbleness 🙂
For more on inside of the body materials and activities, see here the "💉 Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study" summary post.