Heidi Reina, M.S., Ed, is an educational technology integrator and teacher, reviewing free educational websites and apps.
Kids, teens and college students will find learning human anatomy a breeze with these websites, games, and free apps exploring the mystery and genius of the human body. The human body interactives that are available online give students a phenomenal view into human anatomy.
These sites transform textbook illustrations of the skeleton, organs, and body systems into simulations of live processes. And they are revolutionizing how kids learn human anatomy.
There are dozens of free anatomy interactives and games for kids. Here I describe ten of the best websites where students can explore the human body. They range from simplified games for elementary kids to sophisticated interactives of all body systems for high school and college students.
The Human Body eBook for Grades 3-5
A class of children from a Colchester, Vermont elementary school put the Human Body eBook together. Read-along passages are highlighted as kids learn basic body organs, the skeletal system, and their function.
This is a great activity idea for upper-grade elementary students. Have your students put together an eBook of anatomy concepts they need to know at their grade level. Perhaps combine it with a project where they make their own model of the human body, illustrated in the video below.
Body Parts and Functions for Grades 3-5
In Body Parts, from e-Learning for Kids, children get a tour of the human body with a guide who shows them the functions of each system.
Included systems are:
- bones, joints and muscles
- the senses
- the brain
- the heart and blood
- lungs and diaphragm
- stomach and intestines
The guide on this site narrates as you touch the explained body part and the accompanying text matches the narration. A brief quiz at the end has a question corresponding to each explained body system.
Interactive Anatomy Learning Tools Grades 3-5
The Children's University of Manchester has several interactive learning tools for kids to learn about the brain, teeth, skeleton, and digestive system.
- Brain and Senses illustrates how the senses work and the parts of the brain responsible for processing each of the senses, personality, and movement.
- Body and Medicines guides kids through an exploration of the skeleton, bones, and digestive system. Kids will also learn about the tests and instruments used to diagnose illnesses and the drugs used to treat them. There's also a section that illustrates how kids can distinguish good drugs from bad drugs.
- Teeth and Eating explores the uses and structure of teeth, types of teeth, and a timeline of the age at which each type of tooth grows in. This is followed by proper teeth and mouth hygiene and healthy foods for teeth.
Bone Biology for Grades 5-8
Bone Biology for Kids was created by Dr. Susan Ott at the University of Washington to help middle school students understand bone structures and composition.
Dr. Ott offers detailed, well-illustrated explanations of the types of cells that make up bones and an A-Z glossary of terms related to bone biology. Students will learn about bone diseases and fractures, what makes bones strong, and how to strengthen bones.
After reading all about bones and looking through the microscope slides, play Bone Quiz Yahtzee, an interactive game on the facts explained on the website. (The game only works in some browsers, such as Internet Explorer.)
My Recommended Anatomy Book for Children
Human Anatomy Lessons for Grades 6-12
Khan Academy has an excellent comprehensive online course for students in human anatomy and physiology. Body systems in the lessons include circulatory, respiratory, urinary, hematologic (blood), immunologic, gastrointestinal, nervous, muscular, skeletal, endocrine, integumentary (skin, nails, hair, sweat glands), lymphatic, and reproductive.
Videos illustrate the systems and introduce concepts and terms. These are followed by interactive flash cards and quizzes. As you progress through the course, you gain points to reach mastery of the subject matter. You can obtain a maximum of 900 mastery points in anatomy and physiology.
Free registration and login is required to track your progress. A parent or teacher can also track the student's progress.
Khan Academy is an outstanding resource for lessons in a broad range of subjects.
Human Body Explorer Videos for Grades 6-12
The Discovery Channel's Human Body: Pushing the Limits series offers more than a dozen three-minute video segments showing the human anatomy in action beneath the skin. The website also provides more in-depth explorations of sight, strength, sensation, and brain power.
Students can then use the Human Body Explorer interactive to put together pieces of the eye, see how much strain our bodies handle in everyday activities, and view the central, peripheral, and autonomous nervous systems. The culminating activity is the "Brain Power" interactive quiz and picture-matching game.
Explore the Human Body for Grades 3-12
Explore the Human Body, from National Geographic, takes you on a journey through the brain, heart, digestive system, lungs, and skin. This website has the best simulations of these body systems at work.
While the extensive written material is more appropriate for high school students, teachers can use the animations for anatomy studies with young children as well.
For instance, the "Feed the System" simulation illustrates:
- how different types of foods are processed by the digestive system as they are consumed
- the anatomy and pumping action of the heart
- how the lungs function and what happens in the lungs of a person with asthma
- what parts of the brain are stimulated by different sensations
- what happens inside the skin as it ages
Mapping Memory in 3D for Grades 9-12
Mapping Memory in 3D, from National Geographic, is all about brain anatomy. Simulations help students to see what happens in the brain to process visual information, auditory information, motions, and sensations.
It also helps students visualize how thought and reason are processed by working memory. Students learn how the brain makes memories, stores them, and how it forgets information as it ages. Included is a progressive simulation of what happens in a brain damaged by Alzheimer's Disease.
Interactive Anatomy Tutorials for High School and College
J. Crimando's interactive anatomy tutorials do an excellent job of identifying body components for all the major body systems. The tutorials and quizzes encompass 11 systems:
These are particularly helpful to high school students taking AP physiology or anatomy courses.
Human Anatomy App for iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch
Kids in grades 9-12 can learn the basics of major body systems with the Visual Anatomy Lite app for iPad or iPhone. View and 3-D models of major organs, muscle systems, bones, skull, circulation and respiratory systems.
Tap on a body part to learn its name. There is also a 22-question quiz section related to body functions. Additional features are fee-based.
More Anatomy Resources for Kids
- Anatomy Flash Cards for Children | Android - Google Play
Basic flash card app to help children preK-2 identify parts of the body. Intended for very young children only.
- Human Parts of the Body for Kids & Students
Listing of 30 lessons, interactives, and apps to help K-12 students learn the workings of human anatomy.
Have your kids used interactive human anatomy websites?
Heidi Reina (author) from USA on January 25, 2016:
Thanks for your feedback, TrikyTriger, and I'm glad you these reviews helpful.
TrikyTriger on January 23, 2016:
Tacy on February 17, 2015:
You make thigns so clear. Thanks for taking the time!
fatman on October 24, 2014:
AnonymousC831 from Kentucky on May 06, 2014:
No but they're going to now. Fantastic lens.
travelerme on December 21, 2013:
I like that howcast clip Idea!
ACDuncan on November 03, 2013:
Love this lens!! My little girl is very interested in how things work with the human body right now and this will be great to show her! Thanks for sharing.
glowchick on November 02, 2013:
Thank you for sharing all these great resources, I am a homeschooler and we are doing High School Biology, once we get to Human Body systems, I am definitely going to use these.
OUTFOXprevention1 on October 11, 2013:
Great websites you have posted. We have used them before to teach health/germs.
anonymous on September 19, 2013:
Thank you so much for posting this list of resources! I am a nurse in Dallas Texas and have a passion for teaching kids about health care. I would love for you to review my book on Amazon about human anatomy for children. It is a top seller and has been reaching many people to help kids learn anatomy. Please view it on Amazon it is called Human Body: Anatomy for Kids an Inside Look at Body Organs
mel-kav on August 16, 2013:
I am a school nurse for special needs children. I am always looking for new ways to explain certain things to kids - as they are very inquisitive. What better way than to put them on the computer. Thanks for the great suggestions.
Birthday Wishes from Here on July 29, 2013:
Not yet... Thanks a lot for sharing another wonderful lens!!!
trinimatt on July 11, 2013:
Great info, thanks
AdrianaZoder LM on July 08, 2013:
OK, so I will relax now. My kids/students are in preschool and Kindergarten and I saw nobody was trying to claim that they must know human anatomy at that age. LOL. This is great info to have for 2016 though... :) Thanks.
anonymous on May 08, 2013:
Great links, thank you! I also like the idea and graphic language of "This is my Body â Anatomy for Kids" iOS app. We are using it with first graders and they just love it!
anonymous on May 03, 2013:
You lens is a great resource for kids and their parents.
Thetoothfaerie on April 30, 2013:
Great ideas. Thank you.
gene-0 lm on April 23, 2013:
Great lens. I am showing it to my niece now
anonymous on March 23, 2013:
I do not have children, but I shared this lens on Facebook for my friends that do!
dellgirl on January 28, 2013:
~SquidAngel Blessings~ for this wonderful lens.
miller83 on January 20, 2013:
Fantastic links in abundance. Great information. Love the lens.
Kidsthings on January 15, 2013:
A great range of websites that have information that is educational - this is a handy resource.
RoadMonkey on January 04, 2013:
No, but my grandchildren will shortly visit some of the sites you have found for us. Thanks for a great lens.
seosmm on December 24, 2012:
Very interesting and nice lens!
Success_At_School on December 15, 2012:
Wonderful anatomy resources!
crossroadsblogg on December 15, 2012:
Thanks. This is a great resource to teach my kids.
NibsyNell on December 08, 2012:
Oh wow! Great resources! :)
neotony on December 02, 2012:
wow a pretty purple star! this is a nice way to teach children about human anatomy!
LiliLove on November 22, 2012:
Love it - bookmarked this lens for kids :)!
qualityweb on November 11, 2012:
The video was simply amazing, great lens
anonymous on October 29, 2012:
some really nice and useful information on this lens :)
Pat Broker from Templeton, CA on September 07, 2012:
I wish I'd had these resources when I was an elementary teacher. Great lens!
RinchenChodron on September 04, 2012:
I don't have kids, but it looks like some wonderful resources here. Well done.
anonymous on September 03, 2012:
Returning with fresh angel dust for this amazing resource.
Salliesmith on August 29, 2012:
wow perfect HUB for kids along with good reference sites...............
anonymous on August 22, 2012:
I just found another amazing app on the Appstore that's called "This is my body - Anatomy for kids"
Just had a look at it with my kids and they seem to like it a lot! Thanks for the links though, will check some of them out for them too.
bbsoulful2 on July 22, 2012:
Great companion for those using Apologia Sciences Human Anatomy book! Thanks --
Genesis Davies from Guatemala on July 20, 2012:
Excellent! I'm bookmarking this for homeschool science work, thanks!
kimark421 on July 17, 2012:
Great lens. Excellent resources. Thanks!
anonymous on July 16, 2012:
G+1 too, thanks
anonymous on July 16, 2012:
Excellent lens, thank you for liking my lens about badgers too. Squidliked and Pinned
amberchina on May 24, 2012:
My students haven't yet, but now that I've seen these, they will!
Shannon from Florida on April 05, 2012:
Great lens! You've done a nice job compiling some excellent resources. I'm featuring your lens on my human body unit study lens (http://www.squidoo.com/cells-and-dna). Liked.
Teri Villars from Phoenix, Arizona on March 22, 2012:
I am donating my body to Science when I die. This is the only reservation that I had....I could see my grandkids in an anatomy class when they wheel me in. OOPS! ha! Squid Angel blessed!
three-em on March 21, 2012:
mapping memory in 3D is very interesting..
good visualisation and easy too learn..
thanks for share..
KReneeC on March 12, 2012:
Great job on the lens! It's awesome!
Michey LM on March 08, 2012:
Excellent resource lens especial for home schooling Mom's. The learning never stops.
wadsworth lm on February 27, 2012:
Thanks so much for the lens, it is a great resource.
jimmyworldstar on February 09, 2012:
This is great for medical students. With the amount of material you have to learn taking it in this way may help.
Shannon from Florida on January 31, 2012:
Great lens! We're studying the human body right now. Tomorrow we get to dissect a deer brain. Lots of fun. This will be a nice resource to use for our unit. Thank you! Blessed and liked.
jadehorseshoe on December 24, 2011:
Another Useful Lens.
fugeecat lm on December 24, 2011:
I've never used these websites, but they all look really good so I'll be using them in the future.
EvelynIrene on December 20, 2011:
I have used many of these to study for Science Olympiad. But, you didn't include my favorite anatomy site, http://anatomyarcade.com! It has seriously fun games which help you learn. Great lens, though!
Buchamar on December 14, 2011:
Great info and much more fun than school! Much like the apps I review :-)
sherioz on December 11, 2011:
Why couldn't school have been this much fun when I was a pupil?
Paki Bazar on November 17, 2011:
i love this blog you are working really good
AlisonMeacham on November 16, 2011:
An excellent resource. Blessed by a Squid Angel
Vikki from US on November 09, 2011:
Blessed by a squid angel ;)
anonymous on July 31, 2011:
What wonderful resources for learning anatomy, I sure wish all of this had been available years ago when I was homeschooling my children. Interactive activities are so helpful in learning and these are lessons that will be useful for a lifetime.
Donnette Davis from South Africa on July 11, 2011:
This lens is superb.. I have been working on (for about 9868568998 years) a book about teaching elementary school age children about the human body and I seriously needed something to spice up my research! THANK YOU!
Tracy Gibb on July 05, 2011:
Teaching about the human body is a great way to make sure kids take care of their bodies and make good choices for the rest of their lives! Great lense!
pufek77 lm on April 24, 2011:
This Lens Is Awesome