How Do Muscles Work? Easy Balloon Model for Kids |Kids Activities Blog


We now have a extremely easy balloon and cardboard muscle mannequin which you could make with children to reply the query, how do muscular tissues work? Children can study rapidly in regards to the physique with this simple muscle mannequin that present how muscular tissues transfer bones and work with different muscular tissues to stabilize and transfer joints. Use this muscular tissues for youths lesson at dwelling or within the classroom.

text: how do muscles work - Kids Activities Blog - finished balloon muscle model held by child
Let’s learn the way muscular tissues work!

How Do Muscle groups Work?

There are three varieties of muscular tissues within the physique:

  • Clean muscular tissues that management inside buildings like your digestive tract, blood vessels and different issues.
  • Cardiac muscle that’s present in your coronary heart.
  • And skeletal muscular tissues that are connected to the bones and create motion which we are going to discover extra at present…

Skeletal muscular tissues work when the mind alerts the muscle by means of a motor neuron to contract or shorten. Whereas studying about how muscular tissues work is nice, making a hands-on muscle mannequin helps deliver the ideas to life.

Elbow Muscle Mannequin Utilizing Balloons & Cardboard Tubes

We’re going to present this muscle mannequin as an elbow mannequin, however you may analysis different joints within the physique and make these as properly. We shall be making three bones: humerus, ulna and radius. We shall be making two muscular tissues: biceps and triceps muscle.

Provides Wanted

  • 3 cardboard tubes: paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls, spool rolls or rolled up cardboard – finest if one is bigger in diameter than the opposite 2
  • Scissors
  • Paper clip, piece of wire or yarn
  • Rubber bands
  • Tape
  • Marker
  • 2 Crimson balloons – lengthy balloon shapes, not spherical ones

Tips on how to Make an Elbow Mannequin with Children

Step 1 – Construct the Bones that the Muscle groups Connect to

making bones for muscle model - humerus, ulna and radius being cut out of cardboard tubes and taped together
Let’s begin by making the bones within the arm!
  • First establish the bones in your arm
    • Humerus – the bone between your shoulder and elbow is a big, lengthy bone that has a bigger diameter than the forearm bones
    • Ulna – your elbow bone might be felt because the sharp level of your elbow and adopted down all the best way to your wrist
    • Radius – the skin bone of your elbow that may be adopted all the best way right down to the wrist – the radius “rotates” over the ulna bone when twisting your forearm round and again
  • Use the largest cardboard tube to create a humerus bone. If doable, minimize it to the approximate dimension as yours.
  • Now make two bones, ulna and radius, which can be smaller in diameter and a little bit shorter in size.
  • Use tape to safe the bones if vital.

2. Step 2 – Make the Elbow Joint

making a muscle model
  • We used a paper clip by straightening out the paper clip and punching it by means of the ends of his items of bones to attach them, similar to an elbow joint could be. You would use a bit of wire and even yarn threaded by means of the elbow joint.
  • We used a rubber band to connect the forearm bones collectively on the wrist.
  • Label the bones with a marker.

Step 3 – Make the Arm Muscle groups Out of Balloons

Step 3 - Arm muscles added to the arm bones by using red balloons where the origin and insertion of the muscles would be
Now, let’s add balloon muscular tissues to our arm mannequin!
  • To make the muscular tissues for his mannequin, we used two lengthy pink balloons – the thin ones you utilize to make balloon animals.  
  • Blow a balloon up for every muscle…barely leaving a lot of unused balloon on both finish.  
  • Subsequent, tie every of the ends of the balloons to his bones to type the bicep and tricep muscular tissues of his mannequin. You too can use tape to connect the muscle’s origin and insertion:
    • Bicep muscle – entrance of the elbow joint that bends the arm
    • Triceps muscle – again of the elbow joint that extends the arm
  • Label the muscular tissues with a marker on the balloon

Step 4 – Play with the Muscle Mannequin

See how when the bicep muscle balloon will get shorter (and contracts) it bends the elbow. Watch how when the triceps muscle balloon contracts and will get shorter, it extends the arm.

Our Expertise Making a Muscle Mannequin

Nicholas has been studying in regards to the muscular tissues in his physique.   He’s realized in regards to the tree varieties of muscular tissues – clean, skeletal, and cardiac.   He’s engaged on studying the names and places of among the main skeletal muscular tissues in his physique. He created this muscle mannequin and we adopted his directions to make it!

Now he has his personal mannequin of a muscle that he can use to show how the bicep muscle extends when the arm is straight and the way the muscle contracts when the forearm is pulled up.

Energetic Time

Whole Time


Estimated Price


  • 3 cardboard tubes: paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls, spool rolls or rolled up cardboard – finest if one is bigger in diameter than the opposite 2
  • 1 Paper clip, piece of wire or yarn
  • 1 Rubber band
  • 2 Crimson balloons – lengthy balloon shapes, not spherical ones


  1. Utilizing the most important cardboard tube, minimize a big bone just like the one in your higher arm for the humerus.
  2. Utilizing two smaller diameter cardboard tubes, minimize a little bit shorter size to create the forearm bones, the ulna and radius.
  3. Utilizing a wire or straightened out paper clip, connect the three “bones” collectively on the elbow joint.
  4. Gently blow up two pink balloons with just a bit air within the center and connect one to the entrance of the arm and one to the again of the arm – the entrance balloon represents the bicep muscle, the again represents the tricep muscle.
  5. Label all of the bones and muscular tissues.
  6. Watch to see how when a muscle (balloon) contracts or will get smaller it strikes the joint.

Extra Anatomy & Science Enjoyable from Children Actions Weblog

How did your elbow joint mannequin end up? Did your muscular tissues transfer the arm such as you anticipated?

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