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Learn About Muscle and Nerve Cells for Kids


This is a basic introduction to the life sciences and human anatomy for elementary age children.

Introduction to Cells

The human body is made up of cells. The bodies of plants, animals and other organisms are also made up of cells. They're a little like building blocks. Building blocks have different shapes and sizes. When you put them together you can make different kinds of structures.

It's the same with cells. There are different types. When you put them together, they make different body parts. This is why they are called the building blocks of life. When cells get together they make up tissue. Tissue makes up the organs of the body. Here we'll look at muscle and and nerve cells.

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Learn About Muscle Systems

Muscle Cells

You could not move without muscles. You need them to run, smile and draw. Even your heart is a muscle. There are 3 types of muscles cells. They are cardiac muscle cells, skeletal muscle cells and smooth muscle cells.

Cardiac muscle cells are in your heart. These cells are striped. Another word for striped is striated. Smooth muscle cells make up your stomach, intestines and blood vessels. They are called smooth because they aren’t striated.

Skeletal muscle cells are in muscles that are attached to your skeleton. These cells are long and striated. These are the muscles you use to move.

Types of muscle cells

Types of muscle cells




The cells that make up the nervous system are called nerve cells or neurons. Neurons come in many different shapes and sizes. The nervous system is made up of the brain, spinal cord and a network of nerves that span the entire body. Your nervous system allows you to taste, see, feel, breath, feel pain and run. Nerve cells or neurons carry "messages" between your brain and other parts of your body. If you cut your finger, a pain message or signal quickly gets sent to your brain. Your brain sends messages that direct your body to heal the cut.

Learn About the Nervous System