There are a lot of ways to learn. In my experience as both a classroom teacher and homeschooling mother meaningful learning takes place with tactile and engaging activities. Workbooks and pages have their place, but my girls remember so much more with they are involved with hands-on experiences. Most of the time we get these opportunities at museums and other special events. This time we were blessed to have one of these opportunities right in our living room!
I've been thinking that a human body model might be a nice addition to our homeschool, but none of the ones I've seen before are made to be handled by elementary age kids. They would function as display models, but not very well as learning models for kids who are very curious.
This is The Fascinating Facts Human Body Game from Lakeshore Learning and unlike all the other body models I have looked at this one was perfect for my children to handle and take apart as much as they wanted. In addition to the really cool model, this also came with trivia cards with both easy and difficult questions. This is a fun way to explore the body.
I was surprised at just how large this body model was. It was easy for my girls, ages 10, 8, and 6, to manipulate, take apart, and put back together. The pieces are solid plastic and it would take a lot of effort to break them. This would not be appropriate for young children who put things in their mouth, however, because there are several smaller pieces.
I really, really liked the question cards. The easy side was perfect for Grace and Beth and they had a fun time seeking out the various anatomical parts. The cards provided statements like, "This is what you use to smell chocolate chip cookies." Critical thinking skills come into play with this type of analytical questioning and create a more meaningful and deeper learning experience.
We used the cards and played a game where each one would pick a card and find the part being described. If they didn't know an answer, it was shown on a diagram on the reverse side of the card. The girls loved taking turns and the only trouble we ran into was I had to prevent them from telling each other the answers!
In our case there were some really neat personal applications. In December of 2012 I had surgery to remove a tumor from my intestines and in July of 2013 I had a partial thyroidectomy. I've tried to explain both of these in terms of anatomy before to my girls, but it wasn't until I used this body model that the light bulbs went on. This was a neat side blessing which I hadn't anticipated.
This is already a favorite in our household and I caught my girls several times playing with this on their own for fun. This would make a superb Christmas gift for any little boy or girl, especially one interested in a medical field.
I also have some exciting news! The wonderful folks at Lake Shore Learning are offering a 20% off coupon!
Disclaimer: I received the Fascinating Facts Human Body Game in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.