We will be making a craft by using simple items and moving our body ! This “Joined Forces” activity will be fun to make and help us understand what joints do! You will be able to move around and see what your joints do as well as see your joints in the craft you make. Once you complete your activity, you can even make another to play with both hands or expand what you learned to trace your foot and see how the joints help your feet move.
1 Piece of Construction Paper
5 strands of Yarn or String
6 straws (each different colors)
Ruler or tape measure
Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure your workspace is all set up with all of your supplies placed on a flat surface. If you need help cutting your straws or string, please make sure to have an adult nearby so you can ask!
Step 1: So what are our joints ? Well, let's find out - our body is made up of different bones and some of our bones are connected. They are connected by our joints, joints are “a meeting point where two things or parts are joined.” The human body has 360 joints! We are going to focus on a few joints today. Before we complete the craft, we are going to stretch out some joints. We are going to stretch out our wrists, shoulders, and elbows. These are some of our main joints in our body.
Step 2: Let’s start with taking a deep breath and raising our hands in the air. We are going to take our hands and make them into fists and spread our fingers wide when opening up fist.
We will repeat this 8 times to stretch out our wrists. Our wrists connect our lower arms to our hands. After we do that stretch, we are going to do one more stretch for our wrists, make fists and rotate your fists in circle motion in whatever direction you like. Next, we will stretch out our elbows, they connect our upper arm to our lower arm. We’ll take both arms pointing our elbows outwards then bringing them inwards to meet and again will repeat this 8 times.
Lastly, we are going to stretch our shoulders. Can you guess what bones our shoulder connects to? Shoulder connects the arm and chest together. Let’s roll our right shoulder 3 times and then roll our left shoulder 3 times. Now take both of your shoulders and roll them back three times.
Tip: If you are unable to do any of the stretches feel free to incorporate your own stretch that you are able to do.
Step 3:Now that our joints are stretched, we are going to create our craft. Take your construction paper and pencil. Place your dominant hand (the hand you write with) down on your paper, you are going to trace your hand and fingers. After tracing, we’ll cut the hand outline out with scissors.
Then, we are going to mark our finger joints. So we’ll place our hand back on the outline we just cut out to mark where our finger joints are. This will be helpful for the next step. We have four joints in each finger!
We already know about one of the joints our hands have , could anyone remind me what it is? That’s right, the wrist! Let’s grab our pencil and just draw a light line or you can draw a dot to help you remember where our finger joints are. Now we are going to fold the paper hand where we marked where the joints are.
Tip: If you don’t have a pencil, you can use a coloring tool (crayon/colored pencil). I suggest not to use a marker or pen just cause then it may be too dark and noticeable in our craft.
Step 4: Once we finished folding the joint markings.. We will grab 6 straws, string and scissors.
Our last straw will be used later. Please if you need help using scissors make sure to ask an adult to help you with this step. We are going to cut each of our straws in 4 pieces, we’ll need to cut the straws into ¼, ½, 1”, and 2”.
Tip : If you do not have tape measure or ruler, you can have them cut the straw in half, then a half in half, then again and again until you have the right sizes you want.
Step 5: Now that you’ve got all your straws cut, we should have a total of 20 pieces of straw at an assortment of different sizes. We are going to take our scotch tape to tape down our straws. Our ¼ size straws will be placed on the outline hand first. They are the top of our finger, next is the ½ size straws, then 1”sizes and 2” inch sizes.
We are going to grab our last straw and tape it down to the hand of where our wrist would be. Feel free to cut the last straw in half if the whole straw is hanging off the paper too much. We have our hand almost done!
Tip: It’s okay to put two or more pieces of tape on some straw pieces to secure placement. We don’t want those straws to move off the paper. It will be helpful to use different color straws to indicate each hand.
Step 6: Lastly, we’ll take our yarn and cut about 5 strands of 2 ft long pieces.
Once we have them cut, we will tie a knot to each strand on the end. Then, we’ll take our strands and one by one insert them into one of our hand’s fingers.
You’ll insert the yarn by the loose end first and continue to insert into the next straw down into the straws until the knot you made is on top of the straw. The knot can represent our fingernails. Each hand will have its own piece of yarn and all the strands of yarn will meet in the wrist joint.
Tip: You can use different color yarn if you have it at home to distinguish each finger. For example, Pinky - for pink, Index finger - for blue, Middle finger - for yellow, etc.
Step 7: Finally, let’s play with our craft! You can now pull on the yarn to see your fingers move and bend. Isn’t that cool?! Our joints keep things “joined” and give it the “force” to move around! You can even make another to play with both hands or expand what you learned to trace your foot and see how the joints help your feet move. Hope you’ve enjoyed making this craft and learning about your joints!
~ Made By: Sarah R.