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


Now we have a extremely easy balloon and cardboard muscle mannequin you could make with children to reply the query, how do muscle groups work? Children can study shortly concerning the physique with this simple muscle mannequin that present how muscle groups transfer bones and work with different muscle groups to stabilize and transfer joints. Use this muscle groups 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 find out how muscle groups work!

How Do Muscle mass Work?

There are three forms of muscle groups within the physique:

  • Easy muscle groups that management inside constructions like your digestive tract, blood vessels and different issues.
  • Cardiac muscle that’s present in your coronary heart.
  • And skeletal muscle groups that are hooked up to the bones and create motion which we’ll discover extra in the present day…

Skeletal muscle groups work when the mind indicators the muscle via a motor neuron to contract or shorten. Whereas studying about how muscle groups work is nice, making a hands-on muscle mannequin helps carry 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 can be making three bones: humerus, ulna and radius. We can be making two muscle groups: biceps and triceps muscle.

Provides Wanted

  • 3 cardboard tubes: paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls, spool rolls or rolled up cardboard – greatest 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

The right way to Make an Elbow Mannequin with Children

Step 1 – Construct the Bones that the Muscle mass 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 determine 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 way in which to your wrist
    • Radius – the surface bone of your elbow that may be adopted all the way in which all the way 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 potential, minimize it to the approximate dimension as yours.
  • Now make two bones, ulna and radius, which might be smaller in diameter and somewhat shorter in size.
  • Use tape to safe the bones if needed.

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 via the ends of his items of bones to attach them, similar to an elbow joint can be. You may use a chunk of wire and even yarn threaded via 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 mass 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 muscle groups to our arm mannequin!
  • To make the muscle groups for his mannequin, we used two lengthy purple balloons – the thin ones you employ to make balloon animals.  
  • Blow a balloon up for every muscle…barely leaving a number of unused balloon on both finish.  
  • Subsequent, tie every of the ends of the balloons to his bones to type the bicep and tricep muscle groups of his mannequin. You can even 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 muscle groups 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 concerning the muscle groups in his physique.   He’s discovered concerning the tree forms of muscle groups – easy, skeletal, and cardiac.   He’s engaged on studying the names and places of a few of the main skeletal muscle groups 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 display how the bicep muscle extends when the arm is straight and the way the muscle contracts when the forearm is pulled up.

Lively Time

Complete Time


Estimated Value


  • 3 cardboard tubes: paper towel rolls, wrapping paper rolls, spool rolls or rolled up cardboard – greatest 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 biggest 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 somewhat 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 purple balloons with just a bit air within the center and fix 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 muscle groups.
  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 prove? Did your muscle groups transfer the arm such as you anticipated?

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