Oooh, science and art make me all happy. What happens when kids make art based on the human body and perhaps absorb some of that information?
I recently heard from Aruna from Young Yoga Masters. She incorporates an art project into her kids’ yoga camps and was wondering if I had any anatomy art projects up my sleeve.
Currently, she’s having the kids trace their bodies on large pieces of paper, and gluing on everyday objects to represent the innards- (string as intestines, macaroni for the brain, etc.) I think this is pretty brilliant, but she wanted to know if I had any other ideas. I had some vague ideas and told her I’d knock them around inside my noggin and get back to her.
Naturally, I turned to the internet. I found some projects online, and came up with a few others on my own. I hope some of these inspire some ideas!
I love this simple spine idea from The Crafty Classroom– she has these listed as the materials: Needle/Thread: Egg Carton, Noodle. I’m assuming it’s a small foam noodle that you string through the egg carton pods somehow- to show how the spine is flexible.
Body tracings are done on black paper so kids can paint on bones. I like this because it gives them the sense of scale and they have to really look at an image of a skeleton to see how to paint the bone shapes- but it’s also fun and probably quick once the shapes are cut out. They look great hanging all together, too.
I couldn’t believe my eyeballs when I saw this. Gillian Higgins is an equine massage therapist who paints horse anatomy on their bodies to help students remember all of those 700 muscles. I suppose this wouldn’t be the most appropriate project for kids, but how could I not include it?
The University of Texas at Austin has a printout you can download of a life-size (kid-size) skeleton. It’s intended to be cut out and colored, but I think it might also be cool to cut out construction paper organs to slap on top. Under activities/teaching resources, click on lifesize printouts, then download and print out the Juvenile Homo Sapiens (print friendly).
Here’s a sculptural anatomy project where kid start with pipe cleaners as bones, add newspaper around them as the muscles, and top it all off with masking tape to represent skin.
This an art project I found on Pinterest that somebody’s daughter made from household products. I think this would be fun, or kids can try to mold the organs from Playdough. They’re sort of amorphous, anyway….
Here’s another idea- It would most likely need to be modified, since this artwork is crazy-cool-intricate. But I love quilling (paper rolling art), and think there might be something to pull out of this for a kids’ project. Of course, they could use larger paper spirals made from construction paper.
Anatomical Cross-Sections Made with Quilled Paper by Lisa Nilsson.
I’m loving these t-shirts for kids to color in and wear! You could draw your own organs onto the shirts, or order pre-printed shirts through Sciencewear.net. They’re only $5 each.
My idea #1: Kids could do quick sketches of each other in certain yoga poses, so they get a feel for how the body is moving. Plus? Life drawing practice! Okay, so I didn’t come up with many ideas on my own, but I did add onto the ones I found….
The Anatomy Coloring Book is used extensively for medical and massage students to learn anatomy, so obviously there’s something to this art + learning thing.