We made life sized papers to represent our bodies last year in Preschool and I absolutely loved it. One of my previous students still talks about this. We hung them up for quite some time so the kids could see what we learned about.
I had a mirror out for the kids and they drew their faces on the paper. (not pictured)
I try and be selective in the books I get from the Library in relation to the Human Body. I like to get specific books for the Digestive System, Skeletal System, Heart, Blood, and Circulation, Lungs, Brain and Nervous System.
You can use Q Tips to represent bones as well. We did that last year.
The first day we work on this, we trace the outline of the body. Then we learn about the heart and the blood and veins. We look at books from the Library and we get to color the veins on the paper.
The next day we learn about the digestive system. This day we used pink construction paper for the stomach and large intestine, and pink yarn for the small intestine. I roll up duct tape to get the large intestine to stay. The kids roll and crumple the paper themselves.
This year I didn’t have time to represent the Lungs and breathing, although we talked about it. Last year we used bubble wrap to represent the lungs since there are air bubbles in it. We attached them to a paper wind pipe.
The last thing we do is bones, since they cover up the other things. I simplified this year. It was harder for the kids last year, so we just did the bones on the arms and legs and I drew with a pen where the bones go (after looking at them in a book and feeling them in our bodies). Last year they did the rib cage though. It all depends on the age of the child you are working with. My 3 year old just colored and randomly glued things on her paper.
We love talking about how to take care of our bodies at this time. It’s the perfect time to teach about hand washing, dental health, exercise, and nutrition. We had a heart healthy day where we turned on music and danced. We felt our hearts before and after to feel the difference in how our heart beats.
On a side note, one my my kids had a hard time with how the shape of her hair looked on the paper. I eventually redid it because it upset her so much and I wanted this to be fun and I didn’t want her to associate those feelings with her body, represented on paper. The next time, I gave her a mirror so she could fix her hair the way she wanted it, then she loved it. It’s something to be aware of, before starting this activity, because some children are sensitive to this.