How the Body Works for Kids
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Your body works in an extremely complicated but amazingly efficient way. If you have ever wondered about how the main systems in your body work you have come to the right place. Just read our information and use our fantastic resources to learn more including games which improve your knowledge! Also see our Science Article 'ANIMALS INCLUDING HUMANS'.
The human skeletal system is made up of >200 bones in adults and its function is to give your body shape and enable movement. The major bones are the Skull, Cervical vertebrae, clavical, sternum, humerus, spine (made up of vertebrae), ribs, radius, ulna, pelvis, femur, patella, tibia, fibula and the phalanges. If you are taking part in any sports where bones could be broken, wear the correct protective equipment e.g. shin pads if you are playing soccer. To maintain healthy bones eat lots of calcium present in dairy products such as milk. Regular activity strengthens bones too.
Muscles perform a number of functions including maintaining body posture, providing movement, stabilizing joints and maintaining a stable body temperature. There are more than 600 muscles spilt up into 3 categories.
- Smooth (involuntary) muscles e.g. digestive
- Cardiac muscles (involuntary) e.g. heart muscles
- Skeletal muscles (controllable). These are muscle that we typically think of as muscles (biceps, triceps, quads etc.)
To maintain healthy muscles perform lots of exercise and provide proper, healthy nutrition and hydration. Also gets lots of rest and control stress levels.
The Nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord and the nerves themselves. The brain manages the complete functioning of the body by controlling the nerves which in turn control the local body parts. The major parts of brain are the cerebrum (thinking part of brain), cerebellum (for movement, balance and coordination) and the thalamus (takes sensory data like touch, feel, smell to the brain) and the brain stem which connects to spinal cord. The spinal cord links the nerves to the brain so signals can be passed either way to the brain which is the master controller! Always protect the head when there is a higher risk of knocking it (wear a cycle helmet when cycling for example). Maintain a healthy brain by eating healthy foods (especially those containing potassium and calcium), taking regular exercise and stimulating the brain by challenging it to remain active (for example by doing puzzles, crosswords, quizzes etc.).
The body's defense system is called the immune system and is made up from cells and organs. The main components include blood vessels, bone marrow, lymph nodes, adenoids, appendix, lymphatic vessels, peyer's patches, spleen, thymus and the tonsils. The immune system's job is to protect the body from infection by keeping out and fighting infected micro-organisms. Lymphoid organs produce lymphocides which are the body's method of fighting infections. To maintain a healthy immune system you should control stress, get proper sleep, eat a healthy diet and get plenty of exercise.
The endrocine system is a collection of glands that produce hormones to grow and develop your body. Each gland has its own specific function. The main glands are the pineal, pituitary, hypothalamus (controls hunger), thyroid, parathyroids and the adrenals. To maintain a healthy endrocine system you should eat a good nutritious diet, take plenty of exercise, enjoy good sleep and control your stress levels.
This consists of the heart and blood vessels. The heart contains 4 valves and is separated into 4 sections to separate incoming from outgoing blood. The heart pumps blood to other body parts via the blood vessels to provide much needed oxygen to all the functioning parts of your body. Maintain a healthy heart with lots of exercise, good nutritious food and , of course, no smoking or excess alcohol.
The respiratory system consists of organs that help you to breathe so you can deliver oxygen into the body for the blood to transport around and also to remove the expired air containing, for example, higher levels of poisonous carbon dioxide. The respiratory system consists of the trachea, lungs and the diaphragm. When you breathe in the diaphragm contracts allowing oxygen rich air from the nose or mouth into the lungs and when the diaphragm expands the lungs are forced to expire carbon dioxide in the opposite direction. Maintain a healthy respiratory system by avoiding smoking and having copious amounts of exercise.
The digestive system converts the food we eat into energy in order to keep our body going. The whole digestive system consists of the mouth, esophagus, liver, stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, intestines and the rectum. It is the digestive systems job to make sure all solid waste products are separated and passed through to the rectum where it is disposed on via poop. Maintain a healthy digestive system by drinking lots of water and eating lots of healthy fruit and vegetables and avoid too much greasy or fatty foods which are difficult to digest.
The urinary system gets rid of waste and excess fluid from the body and comprises the kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. The kidneys clean the blood and remove waste producing urine. The urine exits the body after being sent via the ureters to the bladder. When the bladder is approximately 50% full you will get a bodily sensation that you need to empty your bladder by going to the toilet. To maintain a healthy urinary system, do lots of exercise, drink water, avoid smoking or excess alcohol and eat a healthy and nutritious diet.
Make a monster out of different parts of the body. You can choose which type of mouth, nose, legs, ears, arms and eyes they have so no....Read More
In this fun animated activity, you need to answer questions on what colour kit the soccer player is wearing. Be careful, it changes every time. Different levels of difficulty are shown. Match the hair, top, shorts, socks and boots/shoes....Read More
In this animation, you can listen to the fun skeleton song! See how the skeleton is just like you! He points out various parts of his body (head, neck, mouth nose, ears, legs,....Read More
Put the six facial words (mouth, eye, ear, hair, nose, teeth) into the correct places on the 6 numbered rectangles at the bottom which correspond to the numbers 1 - 6 marked on the clown's face. You can select 'instructions', 'reset', 'check answers' or....Read More
In this game, balloons with letters inside float up and the aim is to shoot the correct ones down to spell a body part. Cool! See how many levels you can complete. You can look at the answers but....Read More
This activity is a fun set of body part exercises with words. It is designed for a Polish audience but it is all in English. There is the "Picture Dictionary" activity which involves clicking on the 10 body part pictures and listening to the description and seeing the definition. "Test Your Memory" is a body part card pairs matching....Read More
In this activity, you need to listen carefully to the audio description and/or the text description. See if you can work out which face out of the six possible faces matches the description. The scenarios are "Who handed in Jacob's mobile phone?", "Who found Katie's dog?", 'Who helped Ahmed fix his car?', "Who took Neeta's cat to the....Read More
In this novel hangman scenario (actually 'crush the monkey' activity), see if you can guess the letters to answer questions on human body parts. For example, one question is....Read More
In this activity, you need to put the skeleton's bones in the right place in this interesting animated activity. The various bones are given both their common names and scientific names. Some of the scientific names shown are the "mandible", "clavicle", "humerus", "pelvis", "fibula", "tibia", "femur", "vertebrae", "ulna", "radius",....Read More
This is an amazing overview learning video on how key parts of the body works. The video lasts over 40 minutes and covers the following body areas - 'Urinary system', 'Digestive system', 'Respiration', 'Cardiovascular system', 'Endocrine system', 'Immune....Read More
Learn some amazing facts about the human body in this 10 question quiz. For example, one question is "How many types of muscles are there in the human body?". See how many questions you can answer....Read More
There are two quiz challenges on these pages. You have a picture of the human body with many of the major scientific bones highlighted. Your task is to answer 5 multiple choice questions to try and determine the common names for five of these bones. In 'Challenge 1' you have to find the common names for the tibia, humerus, clavicle,....Read More
This resource has some great light hearted videos explaining the body. They feature Cassius Bordelon, PhD (Associate Professor of Cell Biology at Baylor College of Medicine) who is an expert on anatomy. Some of the videos are entitled 'Do Hair and Fingernails grow after you die?', 'The Uvula', 'What Makes an Ice-Cream Headache?', 'What....Read More
This interactive activity is an animation showing how hormones control various aspects of the human body such as regulation of temperature and the water balance. There are various quizzes and tests throughout the activity too to check your understanding of the subject matter. The female menstrual cycle is also described as well as how....Read More
These advanced notes go through the circulation system and how the heart works with the arteries, veins etc. to move blood around the body to where it is required. Some overview labelled diagrams of various body parts (e.g. aorta, atriums and blood routes) are detailed with further detailed explanations of these body parts. Advantages....Read More
These study notes give advanced information on how the human body excretes waste and the body's water balance. Kidney functionality is a large part of these notes. How the kidneys work in detail (with their various parts labelled) plus information on kidney dialysis and kidney transplants....Read More
These advanced notes explain how a relatively stable core temperature of around 37 degrees Celcius (99 degrees Farenheit) is needed to keep the body in a healthy state. Descriptions of how the body (orchestrated by the brain) copes with both high and low temperatures are given and how it, for example, reduces blood flow to less important....Read More
These study notes give details about insulin, which is a natural hormone produced by the body, and how it controls blood sugar levels in the body. They also explain how this occurs with diagrams and a video. Diabetes is described and what people who are diagnosed as diabetics need to do to manually to control blood sugar levels.....Read More
This animated activity describes exercise and being fit for life. It also describes how respiration and the blood system works. The blood information explains the differences between systolic and diastolic pressures and typical healthy values. Both aerobic and anaerobic respiration during exercise is....Read More
In these Study Notes, horse evolution is detailed to explain how fossils can reveal how certain animals have changed over long periods of time by natural selection. Then a plant and human comparison is explained along with a typical height....Read More
This is a great activity based animation showing how various enzymes help to break food down in the digestion system. The various parts of the digestion system are explained plus further detail on how the pH (i.e. acidity, neutrality or....Read More
In this resource, the excretion of urine from the human body is explained through videos and written details on how the whole urinary system functions. The main parts of the urinary system are explained (e.g. kidneys, ureter, bladder etc.) plus kidney dialysis and transplant information. There is also....Read More
In this animated activity, you are taken through the background of how many illnesses are caused by either viruses or bacteria. In the activity you must choose whether certain illnesses are caused by bacteria or by a virus (e.g. rubella, measles or influenza). The next topic describes how the body's white blood cells attack pathogens and....Read More
In this animated activity, it is explained that homeostasis is how the body keeps in balance for health reasons. Temperature control, blood sugar control and diabetes are all discussed. Also, there are explanations of how water levels and....Read More
These study notes compare the different skeletons in different animals. An endoskeleton is an internal skeleton (humans have these obviously) and an exoskeleton is an external skeleton (crustaceans or ants have these). Quite a lot of detail is given about the human skeleton with labelled pictures of the various....Read More
These study notes have details (including a video) on how the heart works and how the beat is controlled. Blood pressure is explained as well as various types of circulatory systems (open, closed, single, double). Diagrams of electro-cardiograms are....Read More
These notes give videos and details about various topics related to repairs to the heart and circulatory system including topics on 'Heart conditions and diseases', 'Hole in the heart', 'Heart valves', 'Blocked coronary arteries', 'Different types of surgery', 'Controlling....Read More