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Healthy Activity Plan: The Importance of Bones

This activity is a fun, creative way to teach your early years about the importance of having healthy bones. It is best suited for older children in smaller groups.

Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this activity today:

What you will need:

  • Playdough
  • Lollipop sticks (you can find some here)
  • Scissors

Preparing the activity:

1. Cut some the lolly sticks in half so they are about 5cm in length, creating range of sizes.

Doing the activity:

Encourage the children to make a playdough person, with arms, legs, torso and head. Once they have done this, ask them about how strong the person is. Show them how malleable the arms and legs are – how easy to bend.

Next, demonstrate to the children how to make a playdough person with a “skeleton”. Form each playdough leg, arm and torso around a lolly stick so it has more stability. Make sure some of the lolly stick is sticking out of the top so you can attach the legs and arms to the body. You could even use a shorted lolly stick for the neck, attaching the head to the body.

Photo by Gabby K from Pexels

Once the children have all added skeletons to their playdough bodies, encourage them again to try and bend the limbs of the body and discuss the difference now the lolly sticks are inside.

Encourage children to relate this to their own bodies – what would happen if we didn’t have bones? We’d be flopping all over the place!

Talk with the children about the importance of keeping their bones healthy, and the ways they can do this:

  • Eating vegetables – they have lots of vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy.
  • Getting exercise – running around in the park or the playground to help bones get stronger.
  • Not eating too much sugar – some sugar is fine, but too much can make bones weaker.

Encourage your early years to think about if they want to keep their bones healthy, and why (so they can run around and play with friends, so they’re strong, etc.).

Tracking the activity:

30-50 months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Beginning to understand ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions.”

Physical Development: Health and self-care: “Observes the effects of activity on their bodies.”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials: “Uses various construction materials.; Beginning to construct, stacking blocks vertically and horizontally, making enclosures and creating spaces.; Joins construction pieces together to build and balance.”

40-60+ months

Communication and Language: Understanding: “Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.”

Physical Development: Moving and Handling: “Shows increasing control over an object in pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it.”

Physical Development: Health and self-care: “Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene can contribute to good health.”

Expressive arts and design: Exploring and using media and materials: “Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.; Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect.; Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.; Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.”

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