Activities from Home #1: Funny Bones! (Grade 3)

Greetings Museum of Health Care Friends! In light of ongoing efforts to limit the transmission of COVID-19, this activity has been modified from the original version for offsite, home use. (Normally, this activity is completed as part of the “Funny Bones” education program offered at the Museum of Healthcare at Kingston.)

For Educators

Learning Outcomes:

Students will apply their knowledge of the structure (bone type) and function of four major bone structures (skull, ribs, hands, femur) in this activity. Encourage students to recreate the four major bone structures in their skeletons at a Grade level appropriate amount of detail.

For Parents

Them bones, them bones! This fun activity helps children understand the different types of bones (flat, long, short) and their function by building a skeleton and labeling it.

Pre-Activity: Can You Find Your Funny Bones?

Let’s do a test!

Press your hand down on your knee. This is the middle of your leg that bends when you sit down or stand up.

Next, take your same hand and press anywhere else on your leg.

Did your knee feel a lot harder than the rest of your leg too? That’s because you just felt one of your bones! All of those bones are like building blocks for your body, and we need their help to move and do all kinds of things.

Your body is made of lots of different types of bones that feel just like your knee! Here’s 3 types…

Flat Bones: These bones are flat because they protect what’s underneath like a shield.

Long Bones: These bones are long and thin like a ruler. They have to be very strong because many long bones hold parts of your body up and help us move.

Short Bones: These bones are thick and short, just like their name! Short bones are really good at helping us move.

Every bone in your body is one of these 3 types. Find out which type these bones are!

Skull:  The bones around your head are part of your skull. This protects your brain which helps you think and tell different parts of your body to move like a bike helmet protects your head.

Hand: Your hands have 27 bones each! They help you move your hands and hold onto things.

Ribs: You have 12 pairs of ribs around your chest! These bones protect all the organs around your mid-section, like your heart and your lungs which help you breathe!

Femur: These bones are in your upper leg, and they are the strongest ones in your body. We need our femurs to be strong because they hold our body up when we stand.

Activity: Construct a Skeleton!

Can you find your funny bones? Draw a “self-portrait” of your skeleton, or follow these steps to make your own! Use the supplies below to glue materials that you have at home or outside onto a sheet of paper in the shape of a skeleton.

Supplies Your Will Need

• 1 skeleton worksheet (see below) or 1 sheet of black/colored paper
• 1 printed and cut-out skull (see below)
• 1 pencil/crayon (use white or another bright color if you use black paper)
• 1 pair of scissors (make sure an adult is close by to help)
• 1 glue stick/tape
• Pick your funny bones! Use Q-Tips to make this skeleton, or follow the same steps with long and short pasta, straws, twigs from outside, or anything else that you have instead. Put on your creativity cap!


Have black or color paper at home? Follow the same instructions below on your skeleton activity sheet or black/colored paper to make your skeleton!

1. Get 3 full Q-Tips + 17 half Q-Tips (12 Q-Tips in total + 1 extra).

2. Use scissors to cut 8 full Q-Tips in the middle to make your 17 half Q-Tips (ask an adult for help!). 

3. Glue 1 long Q-Tip to the middle of your black sheet of paper or your printed activity sheet.

4. Glue your cut-out skeleton head on top of that Q-Tip, or draw your skeleton’s head.

5. Glue 4 short Q-Tips on each side of the long Q-Tip (8 half Q-Tips all together).

6. Connect 1 half Q-Tip to the end of the top Q-Tip on one side of the skeleton’s body. Do the same to the other side. Then connect 1 more half Q-Tip to the end of the last Q-Tip. Do the same to the other side to finish the arms.

7. Glue 1 half Q-Tip on its side to the bottom end of the first Q-Tip you glued to the middle of the page. 

8. Connect 1 full Q-Tip to each end of the last half Q-Tip. Make sure the bottom ends point to opposite corners of the page.

9. Connect 1 half Q-Tip to the end of the last full Q-Tip. Do the same to the other side to finish the legs.

10. Glue 1 half Q-Tip on its side to the end of the last half Q-Tip. Do the same to the other side to finish the feet.

11. Now let’s see if you can find your funny bones! Use the four colors and three bone types including flat bones (red), long bones (blue), and short bones (green) on your activity sheet to label the skeleton’s skull, ribs, hands and femur using the indicated colors (markers work best). Label the names of the funny bones on the line with the same color next to their place in your skeleton.

Need Help? Here’s our example!

Explore similar education activities, discover highlights of museum artefacts, and sign up for an onsite education program by clicking the link here!

About the Authour

Meaghan McDougald

(Public Programs Assistant, Summer 2020)

Meaghan recently completed an undergraduate degree in history at Queen’s University, with plans to return to Queen’s in the fall to begin her Bachelor’s of Education! Her main areas of interest include the history of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the history of psychiatric medicine. Meaghan’s experience of quarantine during the COVID19 pandemic has allowed her to expand her cooking skills, and discover the many hiking locations that Kingston and the surrounding region has to offer.

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