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Learn About Muscle and Nerve Cells for Kids

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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. Cells are 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, such as blood, nerve, and muscle cells. 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. Every organ in the human body is made up of two or more tissues. Tissue makes up the organs of the body. In this article, we'll look at muscle and and nerve cells.

Muscles for Kids | A fun intro to the muscular system for kids

Muscle Cells

You would not be able to move without muscles. You need them to run, to smile, and to draw. Your legs have muscles. Your face has facial muscles. Eyes have muscles. Each of your fingers have six muscles controlling their movements. Even your heart is a muscle. There are three types of muscles cells. They are cardiac muscle cells, skeletal muscle cells, and smooth muscle cells.

Cardiac muscle cells make up 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: Cardiac, Smooth, and Skeletal

Types of muscle cells: Cardiac, Smooth, and Skeletal

Nerve Cells (Neurons)

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. Neurons are connected to one another, but they don't actually touch. There are tiny gaps between them called synapses.

Structure of a neuron or nerve cell

Structure of a neuron or nerve cell

Learn About the Nervous System

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2013 JoanCA