Customer Review

210 of 217 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Big hit for this homeschooling physician!, April 5, 2011
= Durability:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars  = Educational:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: SmartLab Toys Squishy Human Body (Toy)
This is a fantastic tool for a homeschool unit on the human body. I use it with my 6 and 4 year olds, but it is probably intended for 8-10 year olds. (I'm a physician trying to homeschool, and so my unit on the human body is probably far from typical!)

If you don't homeschool, this is still worth having. Use it with your kids to review what they are covering in their lessons. (I believe that's technically called 'afterschooling'!) I don't think it would work well in a classroom, though. Way too small; it needs to be used with maybe 2-3 kids max at a time.

I get it out for every lesson of our human body study. We look at the system we are studying, and it is a tremendous visual aid to understand the physiology.

For example: Today we talked about respiration. The diaphragm can be tricky to explain, so I used this model. With the forceps I pushed the diaphragm piece up and down while making exaggerated sound effects. "What happens to the lungs when I push this up? What about if it pulls down? Where does the air go?" and they were able to see clearly how the diaphragm pulls air in and pushes it out. Never would've gotten that from a textbook.

I also use this model for a Charlotte Mason style of narration. I can take all of the pieces out, and as I put them back in place ask "Hand me the stomach. Which piece is it? What does it do?" The youngest child gets the first shot, and then the older can add what he knows. For review I can hand my son the forceps and ask him to "tell me what happens to food." He can trace the path of an apple through the model and explain what happens in each spot.

Visual aids are a huge asset when learning anything, but especially something that can be hard for a child to visualize, such as the inside of a body. Illustrations in a book are helpful, but this goes several steps beyond. A line sketch of "my digestive system" is good, but too abstract for a young child to really make any meaningful connection with the actual human body. This model is that connecting piece between books and the physical world.

Just a warning: this is fairly delicate. Keep away from the littles. It needs to be kept put away and gotten out for school. Let it get mixed in with other toys and kiss your kidneys goodbye!

If you are doing a human body unit, I also really like How Your Body Works, Grades 1-3 and First Encyclopedia of the Human Body (First Encyclopedias). Good luck!
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 14, 2013 5:36:06 AM PST
Cass says:
Thank you! Homeschooling mom to 4 here. I'm going to get this!

Posted on Nov 5, 2014 8:38:52 AM PST
Seb's mom says:
I wish you would make a youtube video of your lesson for us non-physicians. It sounds like you made it far more interesting than I ever could.

Posted on Nov 28, 2014 4:59:54 AM PST
D. Dupuie says:
Thanks for the great review! Our next semester home school lesson is on the human body. My seven year old cannot wait to study it. I have to ditto the remark from Jeb's mom that it would be great having a video from a physician! Kudos to you for homeschooling your children!

Posted on Dec 3, 2014 11:19:58 PM PST
Grammy here,
Thank you so much for your detailed comment. I was wondering what age this was for when I saw the initial intro and tried squinting on the box. But as you present it, kudos to you ! I have a four year old grandson who speaks of his food going in and how and where it travels - thanks to his home schooling mommy. I think this would be perfect from your description. Yes, and having videos of your lessons - perhaps even on your own website would be super !
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