Monday, July 9, 2012

I was trying to explain to my daughter that our bodies are made up of cells, specialized to perform a myriad of individual tasks from creating our teeth to the blood running in our veins. Cells are difficult to visualize and comprehend when you just "talk" about them.

So, I've been trying to figure out a few ways to model the cells in our body to help aid my daughter's comprehension...please post any other ideas you might have!

Place a bit of water a a few healthy squirts of dish soap into a pie plate. Place the pie plate onto a dish towel to keep the counter dry. Give your child a straw and instruct her to blow much fun! For sure, she'll create a HUGE pile of bubbles spilling over the pie plate. Have your child touch the bubbles with her finger and try to pop them individually.

Explain to your child that our body is made up of millions and billions of teeny tiny cells. Each cell is stacked upon the other like the bubbles. The cells each have special jobs. Some cells make up our skin, some create our teeth, some create our hair, some work together to create our heart and some make up the blood in our bodies. There are many types of cells.

Each of the different types of cells started out the same, but each cell has expressed DNA inside that tells it what type of cell it will be. So, we have blood cells, and hair cells, and nail cells...

I found an interactive website that shows a diagram and you can learn about the different organelles' functions:

Check out this awesome cell biology animation:

I think a little lightbulb went on in my daughters head...I need to think of some more examples of how to explain cell properties (organelles and all that)...any ideas?


Anonymous said...

great idea! I can't wait to try it!


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

My youngest has been wanting to do "bubbles in a pan", I hadn't thought about using it to explain cells - good idea!

We've made cell cookies in the past, with various toppings representing the parts of the cell. That, was a lot of fun, too.

Ticia said...

Brilliant! I love this idea as a way to explain it.

I vaguely remember building a model of a cell, but can't remember what it is right now.


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