Why the Human Body Needs Both Muscles and Bones

Why the human body needs both muscles and bones (a hands-on demonstration)

This simple demonstration answers the question of why the human body needs both muscles and bones. This is a great introduction for young children to the various systems in our bodies and how they work together. This activity was inspired by Bill Nye the Science Guy’s video on Bones and Muscles (which we checked out from our library).


Our boys were especially excited about this experiment because it involved eating two of their favorite things:  pancakes and cookies. :)


Here’s what you’ll need for this demonstration:  a pancake and a gingerbread man (or overcooked sugar cookie).


 The pancake illustrates what our muscles are like…bendable but can’t hold anything up. The cookie demonstrates what our bones are like:  strong but stiff.




Our bones are strong and hold our bodies up (just like the cookie is able to stand upright without falling to the ground).




But out muscles are bendable and allow us to move.




 When you try to move bones (without muscles), they can’t move much without snapping in half.






What other ways have you found to explain to children why we need both muscles and bones?

*  Also, be sure to check out more hands-on activities about the human body! *


  1. just curious, it says, ‘this site does not allow you to pin’ ??? yet theres a pin link on each picture. would love to save some of this creativity to a board.

    1. Pin away!!! I am not sure why it does that…I think it must be a glitch with Pinterest itself because it has done the same thing for me too every now and then. Yes, you are MOST DEFINITELY allowed and encouraged to pin! :)

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