Activity:

Skeleton Hand Print

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What You Need:

  • Black paper
  • Pencil
  • White crayon
  • Drinking straws
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Glue

 

What You Do:

  1. Our hands bend and flex because of the combination of bones and muscles. Explain to your child that there are joints between bones, like where his fingers bend at the knuckles. There are five long bones in the palm of his hand. His thumb has two long bones. His remaining fingers each have three. He is going to make an X-ray of the bones in his hand.
  2. Trace his hand onto the black paper. Use the pencil to sketch in the bones of his lower wrist using our photo as a guideline. The eight wrist bones are called carpals. 
  3. Let your child use the white crayon to trace the outline of his hand and wrist bones.
  4. It’s time to cut the first straw bone. The bones in the palm are above the carpals. These are called metacarpals. They extend from the lower palm to the base of each finger. Help your child hold a straw over the metacarpal that extends from his lower palm to the lower joint in his thumb. Have him hold it over the correct place in his X-ray. Cut the straw to length and glue it into place. 
  5. Repeat step 4 with the metacarpals that connect with the first finger, middle finger, ring finger, and pinky. As he cuts and glues the bones, discuss the advantages of being able to grasp things with his hand.
  6. Now it is time to add the phalanges. These are the bones in each finger. Starting with the thumb, help your child measure and cut the straw for the bone in the lower thumb. It extends from the base of the thumb to the knuckle. Glue this in place. Next measure the phalange that extends from the knuckle to the tip of the thumb. Again, cut and glue. Don’t panic if there are gaps. Joints contain cartilage which may not show clearly on an X-ray.
  7. There are 3 phalanges in each remaining finger. Starting with the first finger, measure from the base of the finger to the first knuckle. Cut and glue. Now measure between knuckles, cut and glue. Then from the top knuckle to the fingertip, cut and glue. 
  8. Repeat step 7 for the middle finger, ring finger, and pinky. When you are done, your child will have a model of the bones in his hand.

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