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The Skeletal System: Part 3 of 5

The Skeletal System: Part 3 of 5

This is one of may favorite activities within our skeletal system series. I actually held this activity off to the side for a while before we were able to get to it. The kids were so eager to figure out what Mama had been working on and preparing for a special homeschool day.


Our children were fascinated with the kinds of joints God created for us to move. By playing with each model, they were able to see the difference between the joints and what the functions were for each.

Please note that I may receive compensation from affiliate marketing in this blog post.

With this hands-on activity, we were able to talk about how we move and should use our bodies to work for the glory of God. We can use our joints in our bodies to move and do God's work.

We made a list of this work, such as helping a neighbor with yardwork by bending our hinge joints as we kneel down on your knees to pull weeds. Another work item on our list was honoring our mother and father by taking our the trash. We use our ball-and-socket joints to walk outside to the trashcan. They had a great time thinking of the physical things we do every day with our bodies and matching them with the joints we might use.

The joints that were created were used with the supplies listed and linked below within each joint.


Hinge Joint

The hinge joint is simply a door hinge we got from our local hardware store.

Ball-and-Socket Joint

The ball-and-socket joint was created with a red solo cup and a plastic or satin ornament. You'll want to use an ornament with the string attached so that when your child moves it, they can use the string to roll it around in the cup. I cut our the very bottom of the solo cup and put the ornament in it (string down).

Saddle Joint

The saddle joint is made from a chop stick, 1/4" clear tubing, and 1/2 PVC T-fitting. I simply cut the clear plastic tubing to 2 1/4" and cut a slit in the middle of the tube. I had my hubby cut a square hole in the T-fitting with a hack saw, so that I could create the joint.

I then placed the clear tubing into the T-fitting and lined up the holes. Lastly, I placed the chop stick through both of the holes, creating the joint.

The kids really liked moving this one back and forth along with moving their ankles to see the similarities.

Plane Joint

The plane joint is made with garden hose that my hubby cut slits on both sides so that they can bend it on each side. This shows them the vertebrae can bend and twist.

Pivot Joint

I created the pivot joint by using some peg board hangers. I used a screwdriver holder with loops and a straight hanger from the set linked above.

Simply placed the straight hanger through the loops of the screwdriver holder.

We moved them back and forth from side to side, resembling our heads shaking "no" (as suggested in our Apologia science book).

Ellipsoidal Joint

Lastly, I created an ellipsoidal joint with 2 chopsticks and 2 hardwood floor sliders. Place the slider with the foam side up and push the chopstick into the foam at a diagonal.

Do this twice so that you can create the ellipsoidal joint. Place the felt sides of the sliders together.

Have your child move them back and forth resembling the connections between your phalanges and metacarpals.

I hope this activity can help create a love for learning about joints and the intricacy of each within your little one.

Looking for more skeletal system activities and resources?

Click here for The Skeletal System: Part 1

Click here for The Skeletal System: Part 2

Stay tuned for parts 4 and 5 in this series. Follow me on Instagram and Pintrest for the latest blog post uploads.

Happy homeschooling and remember to "Willfully Serve His Children" throughout your homeschool day.



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