Have you ever stopped to marvel at your hands? Your hands can pick up small objects, write with a pencil, paint beautiful pictures, and open a stubborn jar of pickles. Help children discover how do hands work with this fun, hands-on human body project. In this human body for kids activity children will make a working hand model for them to discover how do muscles work Try this human body muscles for kids lesson with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, first grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th graders too.
How do Hands Work
Your hands are truly amazing! The human hand is made up of a total of 27 individual bones: 8 carpal bones, 5 metacarpal bones and 14 phalanges which are commonly called finger bones. Unlike bones in the rest of your body that move by being connected to skeletal msucles, your fingers move joints and ligaments. About one quarter of all our body’s bones are found in our hands.
- Carpus is your wrist and is made up of 8 bones held together tightly by ligaments in 2 rows.
- Metacarpus is next moving up your hand and is made up of 5 long bones. You can feel these bones on the back of your hand
- After your join comes your phalanges or finger bones. Each finger bone is actually made up of 3 seperate bones that together allow your fingers a wide range of motion and abilities. Feel them. Start at yoru knuckel and work up; there is a joint between each bone. The thumb only has 2 phalange bones.
“There are over 30 muscles in the hand, working together in a highly complex way. Movements of the hand are mostly started by muscles in the forearm. Only the thin tendons of these muscles are found directly in the hand: the extensor tendons used for stretching the hand run through the back of the hand to the tips of the fingers, and the flexor (bending) tendons run through the palms to the fingers.” NCBI.com
Hand Muscles for Kids
For this fun, working hand model you will need the following materials:
- cardstock or cardboard
- yarn or string
- clear packing tape
How do Muscles Work
Start by tracing your hand with a pencil, marker, or sharpie. Now, carefully use scissors to cut out the hand and wrist template you created.
Muscular System for Kids
Cut straws into pieces so you can fit 3 phalange bones on each finger and 2 on the thumb. Secure with packing tape or scotch tape.
Hint: We used packing tape as it help better during the actually moving finger experiment part at the end.
Human Body Project
Now add the long metacarpus bones and affix them with packing tape as well. We used various colors of straws for added interest and so I could quiz my kiddos on the name of the bones. You may want to have your child use a sharpie and label the hand bones.
Tape the string to the back of each finger and thumb. The yarn is the muscle tendon.
Thread the yarn tendons through the bones on each each finger (and thumb).
Once each string is through, make a loop for each string.
NOTE: In our project we obted to not make the thumb movable because it was too comples for my children to coordinate that many strings. Some people do have insuries and if a tendon is severed and no replacement medical device is inserted, the person will not have use of that digit.
Human Body Science Experiments
Insert a finger in each string pull. Students can move the string and as they put tension on it, the finger will move or fold down. You can do fingers individually or move multiple fingers at the same time – just like your real hand!
“Muscle tendons, nerves and blood vessels running from the forearm to the hand pass through a tunnel-like passageway on the palm side of the wrist. Known as the carpal tunnel, this passageway is made up of strong connective tissue and carpal bones.” NCBI.com
Human Body Muscles for Kids
In our example the string is the muscle tendon. Each time the muslcle contracts (string is pulled) the finger moves. The muscle is controlled by the stronger muscles in the wrists. Each palm has additional tendonds to offer protection and additional movement.
This is such a great visual and explanantion for how hands move! This project is super memorable and fun for all ages!
Human Body for Kids
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Human Body Activities
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