Study the human body anatomy with kids by making a set of printable anatomy paper dolls, with each layer showcasing a different body system!
What is inside of me? How does my body work? What is this part of me doing? Most kids are genuinely fascinated with their anatomy, even before they know the meaning of the word!
Anatomy, as a branch of science, may seem like a complicated subject to tackle with kids, but the truth is, elementary school children seem better suited for studying it than high school students. They are genuinely curious about how their bodies works. They think that skeletons are great fun and want to build a life-size skeleton model. They are excited to learn all the proper names of the body parts, and they are quite eager to locate them on themselves, if at all possible. The main trick is to make studying anatomy a playful and hands-on endeavour!
The printable anatomy doll set is exactly that – a playful and hands-on companion to studying anatomy with kids. First of all, the set includes four paper dolls – two boys and two girls, so that kids can find a paper friend they relate to. In order to make the dolls even more personalized, kids can colour the black-and-white versions which are also available. If they want to dress them, you can also poke around our blog and find some additional clothes for them as well.
But in the anatomy set, the dolls come with layers that represent different human body systems. Placing a system layer on the body layer helps children visualize the skeleton, muscles, and other internal organs.
The anatomy dolls come with information sheets, describing how each system works. Do you want more information? Take a look at our list of 10 best anatomy books for kids, where we have selected our favourites for different ages and levels of interest.
Want more anatomy activities? Try our bundles – Anatomy for Kids: Basic Systems and Anatomy for Kids: Advanced Systems. Following this hands-on anatomy unit study, children get to build life-size anatomy models of themselves, play with anatomy dress-up dolls, complete anatomy puzzles, build organs from play-dough, colour, draw and play games! The anatomy bundle is full of creative activities for young scientists.
Anatomy Doll Human Body Systems
- skeletal system
- muscular system
- nervous system
- circulatory system
- digestive system
- respiratory system
- urinary system
- (new!) reproductive male system
- (new!) reproductive female system
- (new!) immune system
- (new!) endocrine system
All told, eleven layers! Each system is presented in three further variants, as shown below. There is a version where each organ is named, a version without any text, and a version that kids can colour themselves. There is also a make-your-own empty layer, in case the kids would like to draw their own version of organs.
In addition to that, each of the systems has a card with a description of how it functions and some facts that kids will find interesting.
For instance, did you know how many muscles smiling involves? It differs from one person to another, but twelve on average. Try to read the answer without attempting a smile!
Basically, the anatomy paper doll package has all the information you need for giving a lesson on anatomy to a curious kid!
Anatomy I Spy Game
Since the body system layers come with all of the most important parts named, it is impossible to play with anatomy paper dolls without learning a few useful words like an esophagus, cranium, or spinal cord. After playing and learning with the dolls for a while, why not have a competition to see who can find the most parts?
In order to play the game, print and cut all the anatomy cards included.
Take turns picking up a card and finding whatever is written on it. Whoever finds the part first gets to keep the card! In the end of the game, when all the cards are gone, whoever has the most cards wins! There are forty-four cards and therefore forty-four things to find!
You can make the game easier if you play with the dolls that have all the parts named. Then it will be the matter of who can match two words together fastest. You can make the task more difficult if you play with the layers that do not have any text on them. Can you find a stomach on the picture below? Now, what about a humerus?
How to Make Anatomy Paper Dolls
Watch the video or follow the instructions below!
It is very easy. Cut the dolls from the pages with the base dolls, then cut the layers out. You don’t need anything more than scissors for cutting. This particular set is especially easy to cut, since it doesn’t have any details.
You can make a classic paper doll with the paper layers that attach with folding tabs, as you’ve seen on all the pictures, or you can make a magnetic doll to go on a fridge or magnetic board. In order to make the doll magnetic, you can either print it on special magnetic sheets OR print it on standard paper and adhere little strips of magnet tape to the back. For extra long life, laminate the clothes and the dolls before gluing magnets to them.
Magnetic dolls are even easier for little kids to handle since they do not need to fold tabs!
And now it’s time to learn and play!
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Thank you for reading!