Materials and Toys Feed

Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets ๐ŸŽฅ (Inside of the BODY Unit Study)

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.

By making the learning experience hands-on and interactive, unseen mysteries are being revealed, offering a child a glimpse of the inside of the body!

DSC_0009Muscles 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! 

DSC_0009Our 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 bodyโ€™s function. Laid end to end, an adultโ€™s blood vessels could circle Earthโ€™s equator four times! 
DSC_0009The 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! 

DSC_0029The 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? 
DSC_0029Humans 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?DSC_0009 

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 donโ€™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 youโ€™re listening to.
  • Your pinky finger is responsible for 50% of your handโ€™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. (Thatโ€™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 "๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study" summary post.

Giraffe (BODY Anatomy Unit Study)

In continuing with our ๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study, today, we are exploring the inside of the giraffe, an animal to whom we all hold a true and innate affection. Relative of okapi, antelope, and cattle, the giraffe is a hoofed mammal, and the tallest animal living on land. The height, due to its long neck, allows a giraffe to feed on leaves and twigs from the tops of trees, food that cannot be reached by any other plant-eating neighbor. 


Encyclopedia of Animals book (buy here) provides information about the physical characteristics, habits, and behavior of many animals, and is a great source to learn about the giraffe.
DSC_0003We are also exploring a 4D Vision Giraffe Anatomy Model (buy here), which comes with 27 detachable organs and body parts and an illustrated guide book.
DSC_0003A great addition to your child's animal science museum, this anatomy model is exceptionally detailed, with hand-painted organs and parts. 


The assembly guide offers a description of the giraffe's anatomy, and an insight into the giraffe's life cycle, eating habits, size and more. 


Giraffes' coat patterns are like human fingerprints: no two giraffes share the same pattern. Each of the nine types of a giraffe can be identified by its pattern.

DSC_0003When grazing on exposed grasslands in Africa, giraffes are constantly on the look out for predators that co-inhabit the dry savannah. The primary predators of the giraffe are lions, who use the strength of the entire pride to catch their victim, but giraffes are also preyed upon by leopards and hyenas. 


We had a pleasure of seeing giraffes up close and take pictures during our multiple trips to Disney's Animal Kingdom. We were able to observe that despite its size, a giraffe is very graceful, moving both legs on one side at the same time. (For more on Giraffes and its closest relative Okapi, read here a post" African Animals Language Objects Matching Cards and African Savanna Animals at Animal Kingdom Disney").

For more on Inside Body, read here a post about Human Anatomy "๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the Body Anatomy Unit Study."

๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐ŸผAdrian's โœ๏ธ Workbooks Round Up (Montessori ๐Ÿ”  Language & ๐Ÿ”ข Math)

I believe that good habits form good character. So, as part of Adrian's daily routine (he has a schedule, just like Julia), he writes/traces in his workbooks. I would not say that writing is his favorite part of the day (he still likes to play), but it is something he got used to doing, and it is how we start our day. The goal is to keep up child's motivation until the behavior becomes a habit (which could take a couple months). Eventually, the habit becomes automatic (even enjoyable) instead of something you need to force your child to do. To keep up the motivation, I offer Adrian various workbooks and he picks according to the current mood: it can be Numbers tracing, Letters tracing, Logic Thinking Skills Workbook (buy here) or Spatial Reasoning (buy here) and so forth. 

FullSizeRender 3Today, Adrian (46 months) wanted to trace numbers.

I like the way KUMON workbook guides the child from the dot to the star, or if there are more than one lines to draw, the book offers sequentially numbered steps of proper tracing. 

FullSizeRender 4 Buy Numbers workbook that Adrian is writing in here.
FullSizeRender 4
Below, see a link to a video of Adrian writing down solved mathematical equation at 3.5 years old.
DSC_0019See here a video "โœ๐Ÿป๏ธWriting Down Solved Equation (Montessori ๐Ÿ”ข Math ๐ŸŽฅ Lesson)."

DSC_0001See here a video post "Refining Straight Lines in ๐Ÿ”  Uppercase Letter-Writing at 39 months," and here where Adrian was tracing in the same workbook, but a month earlier, at 38 months.

Buy KUMON Uppercase letters here and Lowercase letters workbook here ). 

DSC_0014Also, see here a video post "โœ๏ธTracing ABCs ๐Ÿ‹Animal Flash Cards with a๐Ÿ’งWater ๐Ÿ–‹๏ธ Pen."


Finally, see below the video of Adrian spontaneously beginning to write his name at 37 months! Before that, he was just doodling.

20161207-DSC_0531See a video here "1๏ธโƒฃ First Time โœ๏ธWriting Own name 'Adrian' at 37 months."


Adrian also loves his BLUE book below (buy here). For girls, there is a similar PINK book (buy here).

DSC_0373.JPGSee here "A โค๏ธFavorite ๐Ÿ“˜ BLUE Book at 36 months." 

My Brilliantly Blue Sticker book (buy here) has been Adrian's absolute favorite since he was two years old because of the diversity of subjects (e.g. transportation, dinosaurs, farm animals, solar system etc.,) hands-on application and many-many bright blue stickers!

Does your child have a favorite workbook or book?

Download ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐ŸผAdrian's ๐Ÿ—’ weekly schedule here

p.s. You might also want to check out our "๐Ÿ”  Letter Series (Montessori Language)" posts here which has a lot of links to letter recognition activities we have been doing since Adrian was two years old.

๐Ÿ’‰ Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study

How mysterious is the inside of the body! Children are simply fascinated to learn all about our body-machine that works day and night, without any rest, performing tasks no computer is capable of performing. Our eyelids blink reflexively, our lungs are constantly expanding and contracting, delivering fresh oxygen throughout our body. Our heart muscle relentlessly pumps blood to every cell of our body, delivering life-potent oxygen and nutrients night and day: whether we are asleep or awake. Our nervous system lets us feel, taste and experience whether pleasure or pain. Our white blood cells fight for us whenever an intruder, be it a virus, fungus or a nasty bacteria, attempts to disrupt our equilibrium. The body is an amazing mechanism, and it is our job to keep it strong, healthy and happy! And we can do it better if we know more about how does our body work! By understanding what goes on the inside of our body, which is mainly unseen and performed on a such a small scale, we can truly appreciate the work that the body is doing all the time - even if we might not know it.

DSC_0017The DK Visual Dictionary of the Human Body book [top-left] (buy here) is an amazing comprehensive compilation of anatomy of science, covering extensive topics with outstanding photographs. The brief text compresses many details into a few sentences, and the charts combined with the text give a clear overview of the subject. The book even has an illustration of an exact torso and detailed explanation of organs. This book can be appropriate for an elementary level and up. Adrian mostly looks through the pictures as the vocabulary is very scholarly.

Inside Your Outside: All About the Human Body book [top-right] (buy here) is Adrian's favorite! Simple fun rhymes take a young reader for a ride through the human body where they visit the right and left sides of the brain, meet the Feletons from far off Fadin (when they stand in the sun you can see through their skin), scuba dive through the blood system, follow food and water through the digestive tract, and a whole lot more!

LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Human Body Discovery Set (buy set here and the TAG pen here) shows a child how the amazing human body works. The set includes a jumbo, two-sided activity board, growth chart, interactive sticker sheets and glow-in-the-dark stickers. Your child will learn hands-on human body facts, body systems, and health nutrition. (Please note that the set works with Tag and the LeapReader Reading & Writing System, which is sold separately - buy here.)

DSC_0017Human Torso (buy here), comes with eight organ pieces and fully illustrated instruction manual. 

DSC_0015Did you know that the size of your child's heart is as big as his/her clenched fist? 


The sensorial bowl filled with red hydro gels ("red blood cells") offers a tactile and visual stimulation as children have to retrieve the organs, name them and place correctly into the Human Torso Model Kit (buy here). This is a super-fun ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿปsensorial invitation to explore the inside of the body! 


See here a ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ of how we "made" these gel beads in"Sensory Exploration with Hydro Gel โค๏ธ๏ธ Water Beads" post.

Inside of the Body Books, we are loving.

Interactive books have been favorites lately amongst my children. These informative science books are perfect for my curious explorers who have lots of questions and unending desire to flip and turn!

These wonderful flap books take a young reader on an amazing fact-filled voyage through a body from brain to toes with tons of interactive flaps to open and discover! 

1st [smaller] book featured in the ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ Look Inside: Your Body (buy here) is a wonderful flap book, which introduces children to the way their own bodies work in a fun and informative way. This hands-on book offers many surprises to keep enquiring minds entertained, including flaps beneath flaps and a cheeky peek inside a toilet cubicle. Your child will be truly fascinated to learn how their brains work, what happens when they eat, how their lungs use oxygen and much more. 

2nd [bigger] book featured in the ๐Ÿ“ฝ๏ธ See Inside Your Body (buy here) is a larger version anatomy book which further helps a young reader to get a bigger visual presentation of parts of the human body.

DSC_0037Children are also loving the entire My First Discoveries series and The Body book (buy here) is a great addition to our anatomy book collection. 
DSC_0037Through transparent overlay pages, a child will find out what happens to food and air and blood in our bodies; where our bones, muscles, veins, and nerves are; and how our brain works and controls what we do.

Children love interactive learning which makes scientific subjects fun and comprehensible despite its complexity. 

DSC_0033How the Body Works book (buy here) offers a young reader a chance to discover what makes up a small growing human body and how each of the different parts work separately and together: how do we breathe and digest food to provide energy to walk and run and play? 

  DSC_0015The transparent overlay pages add a new dimension to a traditional ๐Ÿ“– reading.

 DSC_0015Another great addition to our Anatomy unit study is this Body 5-Layer Wooden Puzzle, Boy (buy here), which includes five layers of systems that exist within the human body: skeletal, respiratory, digestive, muscular, and integumentary system. Adrian loves assembling it over and over again.  

DSC_0009See here a video post ๐ŸŽฅ "Anatomy Puzzle & DIY Interactive Puppets."


See here a ๐ŸŽฅ video post "DIY ๐Ÿ’‰ Blood Model (BODY Anatomy Unit Study, Science๐Ÿ”ฌโš—๏ธโš–๏ธ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)."


IMG_7689We also explored how our brain and senses work: see here "The BODY: 5 Basic ๐Ÿ‘…Tastes.

IMG_7686Did you know that much of what we think of as ๐Ÿ‘…taste is actually ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿปsmellโ—๏ธThe back of your nose is linked to your mouth at the throat so that you can smell the food as you chew it. That is why when you have a ๐Ÿค’cold, tiny hairs in your ๐Ÿ‘ƒ๐Ÿปnose get clogged with mucus. This stops them from wafting smell particles deep into your nose and makes it hard to smell or taste things. That is exactly why you cannot "taste" anything when you have a stuffy nose!

 What's Inside Animals


This Inside ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿด Animals flash card set (buy here) comes with 16 beautifully printed double-sided photo/x-rays. The images are protected with a special, scratch-resistant coating. The set even comes with two human skeletons to compare and contrast the image of the human to the walrus, giraffe, snake, owl, etc. 

DSC_0002These cards can be used on a light table, or with a help of a ๐Ÿ”ฆflashlight, or simply against a window (what we did) to reveal the skeletal system of the animal!  
DSC_0002This is an excellent way to introduce your child to animals and anatomy.

IMG_7667For more on Inside Body, see here "Giraffe (Inside of the BODY Anatomy Unit Study)."

Stay tuned for more anatomy lessons ...

Color Code Logic Puzzle Game (Sensorial ๐Ÿ–๏ธ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ‘‚๐Ÿ‘…๐Ÿ‘ƒ 101 ๐ŸŽฅ Series ๐ŸŽ‡)

Adrian really enjoys Color Code puzzle (buy here), which is a logic game, featuring patterned see-through stackable colorful tiles. Color Code is a unique game where a child layers these see-through tiles to create different multi-colored shapes as shown in the included challenge booklet. The booklet offers challenges from one to one-hundred, which are arranged in the order of progressive difficulty. Simple beginning logic challenges Adrian was able to complete since he was two years and three months. 

Since then, Adrian has been working on these logic challenges in order following the booklet, slowing moving on to the next level in the progressive order of difficulty. 

DSC_0158Today, Adrian has finally reached the last "MASTER 100" challenge. Will he succeed?

Through trial and error, Adrian succeeded in completing the last MASTER 100 level in 1 minute and 37 seconds. 

Color Code is a fun way to develop logical thinking, pattern recognition skills, patience and critical reasoning. Have your child tried Color Code?