Thursday, June 9, 2011

Learning the Bones of the Hand - With Cookies


Studying the human skeletal system seemed like an easy jump from our dinosaur study, and playing with cookie dough is even more fun on a rainy morning than playdough, so we passed another gray mourning, making cookies, and learning about the 27 bones in the hand.

We have a Klutz model of the hand, and a picture of a hand x-ray, left over from one of our Young Scientist Club kits, but there are so many good, labeled diagrams of the bones of the hand online, neither was really necessary. We decided to copy a diagram from Encyclopedia Britannica, and use different colors for each section of the hand (click here, for our sugar cookie dough recipe).



We used eight, small balls of white dough, for the carpals of each hand. We didn't try too hard to get them exact, but made sure we had eight of them. If you're interested in knowing more detail about the carpals, I suggest checking out LearnBones.com.


We pushed the balls together, to form the bottom of the hands (I was working upside down, because that was how the diagram was, but the children worked right side up one theirs).


Then came pink metacarpals...


...yellow proximal phalanges...


...purple middle phalanges...


...and blue distal phalanges.



A (age 10) opted to make hers all with white dough, because she does not care for the taste of food coloring.


The younger girls though, had a good time arranging the bones according to color. I had originally planned on making the cookies alone, as a snack for the children, to go along with Scholastic's The Magic School Bus, The Search for the Missing Bones, at story time. But, the younger girls absolutely insisted they wanted to make their own hands. I was surprised at how alert to detail they were, as they pieced the dough together.



Naturally, once the younger girls had made theirs, everyone else had to make their own, as well. No one wanted to be outdone by a four year old. I was glad too, because it turned into a really great learning activity for all of them - much more, than just a theme-snack would have been.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

12 comments:

Wonder Mom said...

When I first saw the picture of the cookie, (and before I read the title of your post), I thought the hand was made out of cauliflower and carrots! (Hmmmmm, perhaps this hand activity COULD have a healthy twist, though sugar cookie hands are MUCH more fun to eat!)

Brimful Curiosities said...

That is a really unique cookie! Have you read Bones by Steve Jenkins? If I remember right, the book includes a nice illustration of a human hand.

Deb Chitwood said...

What a great way to study the bones of the hand! I always love unit studies - but this is just too much fun! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/LivingMontessoriNow

Joyful Learner said...

I like the idea of using cauliflower and carrots because knowing our K, she would want to make them chocolate fingers! This is such a great idea though and we'll have to try it when we get to learning the names of the bones.

Fairion said...

Oh what a marvelously fun idea. I have to steal it . thank you so much for being so creative and sharing that creativity.

Christy said...

That is a fun way to learn the bones of the hand!

I have never noticed the taste of food coloring - hmmmm...I'll have to pay closer attention.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Wonder Mom - I think that would work! It's really a good idea - my children would never eat it - but maybe when they're older...

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Brimful Curiosities - Yes, we have that one in our library pile right now, and sure enough, it does have a very nice illustration of the human hand! Thanks :)

Ticia said...

YOu mean the bones in my hand are pink? Wow!

What a great idea.

Denice said...

Fantastic idea!

Debbie said...

I love your hand bones. Leave it to you to think of making cookies out of the skeleton of a hand. Love it!

Melinda at Weiser Academy said...

Love hands on learning! Great idea!