Every year before LittleMan and SunnyGirl go in for their yearly check-ups (which happen in February) I like to prepare them for the experience as much as possible so that it goes smoothly.
Last year I prepared by simply creating a Play Doctor sensory bin and encouraging them to role play the various things that would happen during the check up.
With LittleMan getting older, he has an increased understanding of the human body and his questions are becoming more complex. Just last month he was asking about child birth which led to an interesting discussion between us. The next day I got out of the shower only to be informed by my husband that LittleMan had accurately explained to him the difference between his birth (a c-section) and his little sister’s birth (vaginal).
My main focus in these activities was to explain why the doctor would be doing certain things during the appointment.
We talked about our hearts and how they pump blood through our bodies. I may have quoted School House Rock, “If your feet fall asleep then you’re not circulating right!” Then we started with the stethoscope and took turns listening to each other’s heart beat and lungs. Everyone got in on the action- LittleMan, myself, SunnyGirl, and even the family cat.
Then we talked about our lungs and the way they expand when we breathe. We observed the way our chest rose and fall when we took deep breaths. I thought about making this really cool fake lung model from Science Sparks, but I’ll admit I was feeling lazy so I instead drew lungs on a balloon and used them to demonstrate what happens inside our body when we breathe.
Finally I pulled out our old foam skeleton puzzle (purchased last year for $1 and still seeing use). I was pleased to see that LittleMan still remembered the names of some of the major bones despite it having been a few months since we talked about them.
We didn’t get around to much else yet but there is no shortage of ideas available. I personally love this body parts sensory bin from Counting Coconuts and this life-sized felt anatomy model from Fun at Home with Kids.
If printables are your thing, Montessori Print Shop has an excellent selection of human anatomy printables at a reasonable price.
However, if your budget is $0, do not despair, there are plenty of wonderful printable options for you as well.
KB Teachers has a great list of free human anatomy labeling worksheets- both blank and answer keys available.
SEN Teacher has a free customizable skeleton labels worksheet, for those who want easy bone names or latin names.
Parents.com has free body systems matching worksheets.