Skeletal System Activities

Today, I wanted to share some of the hands-on activities we’ve done to learn about the Skeletal System. We did a number of fun activities to learn more about the bones, cartilage and joints!

Skeletal System Activities Bones Joints CartilageThis is a unit we have done several times over the years. Each time, the kids have learned a bit more, but they *always* love the hands-on activities!! So, this is a unit you can do any time in elementary and middle school!

When I brought out the materials for the ED’s science project last week, she said, “Wait! I want to finish math first!!” Confused, I asked her why. She explained that she *loved* these types of activities and she wanted to be sure she had math done first so she could relax and really enjoy the project!!

I shared these activities in our 90+ page Skeletal System Packet, but wanted to share some photos of our projects with you below! More about the packet below if you are interested!

Skeletal System Unit - Worksheets Notebook Pages

Skeletal System Activity: Bones, Cartilage & Joints

We did two projects last week. The first one was to help her understand the important role that cartilage and the discs in the spinal column play in allowing us to move easily.


Materials: Before-hand I had purchased Rotelle noodles, Zita Cut noodles and Lifesaver Gummies. Plus, we had some pipe cleaners and Stryofoam balls on hand.

skeletal system activity materialsWe started by twisting two pipe cleaners together. About half-way down, we stopped. Those each became the legs.  We alternated placing Rotelle and Lifesave gummies to make the spinal column.  Then for the femur and lower leg, we placed two zita cut noodles.  We twisted another pipe cleaner below the neck area and added three zita-cut noodles – one for the clavicle, one for the humerus, and one for the lower arm.  You can put gummies between the joints there too if you want.  We finished by adding in pipe-cleaner ribs and a stryofoam head. 🙂

As you can see in the picture below, we also made a “man” with no “cartilage” for his backbone.

Skeletal System Hands-On Activities joints and cartilageSkeletal System Activities – Bone Diseases

In our Skeletal System unit, we also talked about various bone diseases.  This activity helps show how fragile bones become as someone develops osteopenia and osteoporosis.

We took a large Styrofoam ball and cut it into slices.  The normal bone was kept as is, but we got two screw drivers, one small and one normal sized.  I had the kids poke holes into the Styrofoam slice, the one with small holes would be Osteopenia. The slice with large holes shows someone with osteoporosis.  They could easily see how much more delicate and fragile the bone with large holes was!

Skeletal System Hands-On Activities Bone DiseasesGiant Skeleton Project

This is a project we did multiple times when the kids were younger!! Here’s what I wrote when the kids were 8, 10 and 12:

BodyBook-Hands-on-ActivitiesBones of the Body: Our first activity was to go over some of the names of the bones in our body.  We watched a really fun video that shows all the bones of the body called Stanley the Skeleton.  The girls then made their own skeleton using The Body Book: Easy-to-Make Hands-on Models That Teach (affiliate link).

We printed the sheets out on cardstock. The kids cut them out and put the body together with brads. We used their skeleton throughout the next couple of weeks to review the major bones of the body. The kids all filled out the matching page (in the packet) as well. You can see the matching page they used in the photo below. There are several versions of that page. The one they used, the words were more or less in order. There’s another sheet where the bones are in completely random order and there’s also a blank page for older students to fill in all the bones themselves.

One of the kids’ activities was to create a song or poem that included at least 10 bones of the body. They had a lot of fun with that and performed both for me and later for Hubby when he got home from work. That was a big hit. The kids really enjoyed that activity!

Make-your-own-SkeletonHere are a couple other activities we did when the kids were younger:

Skeletal System On Activities – Types of Joints

BodyBook-Hands-on-ActivitiesTypes of Joints: There are a number of different types of movable joints in the body and we talked about the hinge joints, ball and socket joints and pivot joints.  The Body Book (affiliate link) had another printable on joints that we used for this part of our unit.

The book had a ball and socket printable as well, but instead we made our own with a Styrofoam ball and a toy popper (like the ones at Oriental Trading).


We also talked about what it is like when your joints don’t work correctly (like people who get arthritis.  I taped popsicle sticks to their fingers and they tried to pick up some objects with their fingers immobilized! Unfortunately, my pictures were blurry, but we did this same activity when the kids were little… so here are some old photos of that! ? We used a lot of tape, but the kids really got a kick out of this activity (even being quite a bit older!)


Click here to save these ideas for later on Pinterest:

Skeletal System Activities - Bones Joints Cartilage

Skeletal System Activities for PreK and Kindergarten

Before I go, I wanted to share a couple of the activities we did when the kids were younger.  We had a wonderful, heavy cardboard floor puzzle of the human body that we used a lot. It was big enough that when I drew an outline of the kids (around the age of 3 or so), the skeleton fit pretty well inside that drawing! This puzzle was called Look Into Your Body All About You From the Inside Out with Floor Puzzle Skeleton (affiliate link).

Note: It looks like the one we purchased is no longer available, but the giant floor puzzle by Learning Resources is similar and has great reviews!

Skeleton-Activities-for-PreschoolersAnother activity we did that was really fun, was making cookie dough hands (I traced around their hands and then baked them).  They used icing (in a ziploc bag) to squeeze out the different bones of their hand.  We also talked about x-rays and then did the little activity on the right… showing an “x-ray” of their hand! ?

Bones-of-the-Hand-ActivitiesHuman-Anatomy-Coloring-BookWe had two books we really used a lot for these units the Body Book that I mentioned above. The other one we used quite a bit for our human body systems units was Human Anatomy Coloring Book (affiliate link) has pages you can print out and color in.

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

Skeletal System Packet: Worksheets, Notebook Pages and More!

I wanted to share a little more detail about our 90+ page Skeletal System Packet.

Skeletal System Worksheets and Notebook Pages

My daughter has been learning the bones of the body and going over many of the facts about the skeletal system from the function of the skeletal system and the basics about bone anatomy to broken bones (complete/incomplete, open/closed, etc.), bone repair, and bone diseases. She also learned about cartilage and ligaments as well as learning about the different types joints (hinge, pivot, saddle, condyloid, ball-and-socket, plane/gliding).

Skeletal System Worksheets: Since you may not want have a spiral-binder or might just prefer regular notebook pages, I have included those as well. They print out on regular sized paper. Again, they are fill-in-the-blank pages and also include the teacher/answer pages.

Skeletal System Unit - Worksheets Notebook PagesNotebook Pages (regular sized paper) or Booklet Form (both styles are included!).

Skeletal System Booklet

Bones of the Body Worksheets: My daughter started out this unit by reviewing the bones of the body.  I made several matching pages that she did over the course of the unit:

Skeletal System WorksheetsSkeletal System Worksheets

The Skeletal System Unit is now 90+pages! The price is $5.75.

What age is this for? This is a unit you can do any time in elementary and middle school. We’ve done this unit every few years. As we’ve come back to it, the kids remember more of the bone names and understand the material in more depth. If you have younger kids, you may just want to show them the pictures and have them do the lapbook pages. Older kids can go through the notebook pages and really learn the material in-depth. Even my high school kids wanted to review some of this material briefly.

Our packets are pdf digital downloads. After your purchase, remember to check your PayPal email address for the download link. This page answers some Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! ~Liesl

The Skeletal System Packet is also included in the Human Body BUNDLE Options (details below).


Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

Skeletal System UnitAfter this unit, we went on to study the Muscular System (more details at this post).

Some of our other Human Body Packets:

Human Body Systems BUNDLEThese are some of the packets that are included in our Human Body Bundle.  These packets can be purchase separately or you can purchase all of them in one bundle.  I included some photos of these packets below.

Our packets are PDF digital downloads. Be sure to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

$8.99 A Study of Cells Unit (150+pages) Animal and Plant Cells, Cell Theory, Organelles of the Cell, Photosynthesis and More

$4.50 Human Body Systems – (50 pages)

$5.75 Skeletal System Packet – (90 pages)

  $5.99 Digestive System – (100 pages)

  $5.75 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

$5.75 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

$3.50 Nervous System Packet (20+ pages)

$5.75 Endocrine System Packet – (60 pages) Exocrine glands are those glands that have ducts and lead to the surface of the body… like sweat glands, tear glands whereas endocrine glands (like the hypothalamus or thyroid) secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

$25.00 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 1: Human Body Systems, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit, Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Endocrine System, Reproductive System Worksheets (Does not include the Study of Cells Unit.)

$29.99 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 2: Human Body Systems, A Study of Cells Unit, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit,  Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Endocrine System, Reproductive System Worksheets (We often talked about cells as we started our Human Body Units… then went on to talk about human body cells, tissues, organs & systems… and then would move on to a different body system each year. Generally as homeschoolers, we covered just one or two major body systems each year before moving on to another science topic.)

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

Here are some quick previews or scroll down below for more photos!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! ~Liesl

View our Privacy Policy here.

Here are some screen shots of these units:

  $8.99 A Study of Cells Unit

Cell Packet - Cell Unit Homeschool CurriculumCell organelles worksheetsCell Biology - Organelles of the Cell worksheets activities

$4.50 Human Body Systems

Human Body Systems Worksheets and Activities

Human Body Systems Worksheets Human Body Systems and their Organs

 $5.75 Skeletal System Packet

Skeletal System WorksheetsRecently updated! This packet is now 90+ pages!

Skeletal System Unit

  $5.99 Digestive System

Digestive System Worksheets and ActivitiesDigestive System Flap BookDigestive System Hands-On ActivitySmall intestines, liver gall bladder pancreas large intestines notebook pages

  $5.75 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

Circulatory System Worksheets and Activities

$5.75 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

Muscular System Unit and Hands-On ActivitiesMuscular System Worksheets

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! ~Liesl

View our Privacy Policy here.

Disclosure:  Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.

You can visit Our Store to find out more about our other packets! :)

Homeschool Den StoreSee you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Happy Homeschooling, everyone!!  ~Liesl

I’ve chosen not to use pop-up boxes at this point, but you can click here to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! You’ll hear when we have new posts, packets and other homeschool-related news! ?

SubscribeHappy Homeschooling!


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *