Monday, August 3, 2009

What are our bodies made of?

E has been asking a lot of "what is ______ made of?" type questions lately. When I told her that our bodies are made of water, blood, skin, bone then she wanted to know what's skin made of? What's blood made of? and so on. I took an anatomy class in college and promptly dropped it after about 2 weeks once I realized that another science class would meet the same requirement. So, I was stumbling trying to figure out how to take my limited knowledge and break it down for a 3 year old. And she was NOT satisfied with simplistic answers anyway.

I did some google searching and came up with The Body Systems website. It has a compilation of links that show how all the body systems work. Most of the links were too much reading and not enough pictures for her. But a few of them had good animations.

We spent a lot of time last night looking at those links. Then we ended up on youtube watching a video about angioplasty. That led to other youtube videos including some homebirth movies. It was hard to find any good ones though. Laura Shanley's are my favorite, but they are always getting removed for being "too graphic." It's easy to find videos of hospital births where all you see are the doctors and the woman's legs, and hear her screaming and machines beeping and some misguided husband yelling PUSH. C-section videos are easy to find too- like a baby being ripped out of a woman's stomach isn't graphic?! But they take down all the good ones that show beautiful, peaceful, calm births with- Oh My Gosh- Vaginas!

Sorry, rabbit trail.... back to E's questions. She likes watching birth videos. I started showing them to her before L was born, so she'd know what to expect. The other day we went to the library and I found one movie called In the Womb which shows the baby's development from conception to birth. The other one we got is called Living Body. I was surprised how long both of them held her attention. She didn't really listen to anything they were saying, I think because the vocabulary is over her head. But she kept asking me "what's that? Why is it doing that? How does that work?" so I was able to explain it in easier language. We talked about cells, platelets, veins, bones, baby's skulls fusing, ear drums and balance, and all kinds of other things.

It's funny because the whole "where do babies come from?" question is pretty much answered all ready, and it's never been a big deal. The only piece she's missing is how the sperm gets inside the mommy. I think right now she thinks it's already there like the egg. I'll just keep providing her with little bits of age appropriate information as the questions arise.

Tonight she asked "mommy, did someone build my body?" And I said "Yes, God made your body in my tummy." She said, "Oh, that was really nice of him!" Yes, I think so too. :)


  1. Do you have the RS4K bio or chem book from the conference? If you have the bio one that would be another great expansion on your body lesson! It would get into the fine details of how skin and such is made :)

  2. No, I have the chem book, but that's been interesting for her too.