Discovery!: STEAM (Body)


This entire program was inspired by Abby’s Preschool Lab and Amy’s Body Science programs.

(And my apologies for the utter lack of pictures today. It was a day off of school, so in addition to the regular kiddos, I had a ton of extra siblings. I had to call for co-worker back up! The wonderful Miss J came to my rescue for the second week in a row!)

The Plan


Dem Bones by Bob Barner
My Nose, Your Nose by Melanie Walsh

Flannelboard: “My Body”

Flannelboard: “Inside Me” (Link coming soon; you can see a picture of both Amy & Abby’s blogs)

Flannelboards: “X-Rays”

The Stations

Station One: Heart!

I had purchased two new working stethoscopes for our circulating doctor kits. We just tested them out beforehand! The instructions at this station were simple:

  1. Use a stethoscope to listen to your heartbeat.
  2. Do ten jumping jacks!
  3. Listen to your heartbeat again.

Question prompts for parents/caregivers: Which heartbeat was faster? Whose heartbeat is faster — yours or mine? Can you find a heartbeat sound somewhere on your body without a stethoscope?

Station Two: Lungs!

I had paper bags and markers on the table. Here were the instructions:

  1. Write your child’s name on a paper bag.
  2. Breathe in and out of the paper bag once or twice.
  3. Talk about what you saw.

Question prompts for parents/caregivers: How did the bag look when you were breathing? Can you touch your stomach and breath again normally? What happened?

Station Three: Bones!

On this table, I had a piece of paper with a general body outline on it, Q-tips, scissors, and glue. My instructions were:

  1. Use the Q-tips to make some bones on the paper body.
  2. Feel free to cut the Q-tips to make tinier bones!

Question prompts for parents/caregivers: Can you feel bones even though you can’t see them? How many bones do you think are inside of you? What do you think we have bones?

Station Four: Stomach!

I raided our extra summer supplies (we had hosted an edible buildables program and had tons of stuff left over) — marshmallows, pretzels, cheerios, and cheese balls were on the table. Everyone also had a plastic ziplock bag. (I recommend going name brand here for quality.) Miss J stayed at this table to make sure that no one ate our stale food and to help control the mess. Instructions on the table read:

  1. Put some food inside the plastic bag.
  2. Adults: please make sure the bag is sealed tight!!
  3. Mash it up.

Question prompts for parents/caregivers: What is your stomach doing? What colors do you see? Is this hard work? What kinds of food do you think your stomach likes to eat?

I also had a handout and crayons for kids to use to draw what their bag looked like before “digestion” and after “digestion”. Lots of colorful pictures resulted!

How It Went

“My Nose, Your Nose” and “Dem Bones” were both great book choices that really involved the kids. I loved being able to reuse several flannelboards and to even make a new one that was perfect for this program.

I had several planned answers to model for the parents at the different stations (pulse at heart station; how many bones a human body has at bones station; how is the bag moving at the lungs station) and spent a great deal of my time modeling to parents how to ask questions and explain simple body science concepts.

The kids naturally loved the stomach station the very most. Although, the bones station was also very popular. I had one clever young lady who took the labeling idea from our flannelboard and asked to know the names of the bones to write on her paper. Between her caregiver and I, we taught her a lot of new vocabulary that day!

4 comments on “Discovery!: STEAM (Body)

  1. Rosemary Kiladitis
    April 13, 2015 at 3:20 pm #

    This is fantastic!! I love your STEAM storytimes and have to get some of these up and running.

    • Katie
      April 24, 2015 at 10:23 am #

      Thank you so much! Good luck with getting yours up and running — there are so many resources online to help.

  2. Loida
    August 22, 2018 at 12:11 pm #

    Your site has been a great resource for me, especially, when I just started doing storytime. I really appreciate everything that you share.

    • Katie
      January 22, 2019 at 11:32 am #

      Thank you for reading!

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