We originally wrote this children’s book for publish in our mobile app, maro, where we give parents & kids content to use as a medium for tough growing-up conversations around mental & reproductive health, empathy, and diversity. Although the following story contains important knowledge about the body & how it works, it doesn’t really align with those 4 education verticals. So, we thought we’d release it for free. Tell us your honest opinions (i.e. would you use this to teach young kids about their bodies?) and feel free to clap if you’d still like to see this turned into a children’s book!
I’m lying down in the grass, watching clouds and thinking
When it dawns on me, I don’t have to think about moving, breathing, blinking.
My body does all of that without conscious say
It does school work, it sleeps and it plays all day.
As I ponder this thought: How does my body work?
An old, wise cloud gets a clever little smirk.
It stretches and jiggles and morphs just like gelatin.
And, right before my eyes, there’s a wispy, cloud skeleton.
“My name is Mr. Cloud. I’ll be your systems guide.
There are 11 body systems but, today, we’ll learn just 9.
No more fitting place to start than the bones of our design:
The Skeletal System (206 bones) contains the sternum, ribs and spine.
The clavicle, the most commonly broken bone, helps my arm move freely.
The radius is in my wrist and rotates almost completely.
The ilium (that’s in my hip!) moves this big bone called the femur.
My fibula and tibia sit right above my sneakers.
All of the sudden, it’s starting to rain, but Mr. Cloud soaks up all the drops.
Before I know it, the skeleton has muscles so big that it just might pop.
Your body moves all around with a System of Muscles.
More than 600 help you pump blood and jump puddles!
600’s too many, so I’ll just name a few…
You have deltoids, abdominals and a gluteus too.
And, just like a car needs an engine to start,
The most important muscle is right here — the heart.
All hail the System of Circulatory!
This tale includes blood, but it’s not very gory.
You see your heart ships blood to every part of your body
Using containers called veins and containers called arteries.
At the top of your head, awaiting the train,
Is an organ that needs blood; we call it the brain.
The brain leads the Nervous System in many pursuits:
Helping you walk, talk, eat, sleep — there’s not much it doesn’t do!
Did I mention the Nervous System even helps you breathe?!
But, it can’t do it alone. You need a pair of these.
The lungs are a part of the Respiratory System.
Inhale. Exhale. Keep your breathing on rhythm.
When your lungs get congested, you may start to cough.
Enter: the Immune System and all bets are off.
Your Immune System is like an army.
It fights for you when you’re sick.
If your body is under attack,
White blood cells come to your defense.
Now, we have 3 more systems before we understand
How the body functions and does what we know that it can.
The Endocrine System keeps you alert and keeps you growing!
From the time that you’re a baby ’til your metabolism starts slowing.
Your Urinary System — well, that’s what helps you pee.
Pee is more than water, it’s how your body gets rid of some debris.
And, finally, it’s safe to say, I’ve saved the best for last!
Your Digestive System fuels your body with a little thing I call SNACKS.
So, all this time that you’ve been eating pizza, salads, soups…
Your Digestive System saves the nutrients you need and discards the rest as poop.”
“Woah! I had no idea my body does all of that.
Must be why my parents are so proud.
I gotta say, my body is pretty cool.
Thanks for teaching me, Mr. Cloud.”
“It’s time for me to move on, son. I’ve got a busy day.
Lots of kids out waiting for me to shift into different shapes.
Remember, take care of your body. This one’s all you’ve got.
Give your foods, drinks and all your routines a little extra thought.”
Written by: Kenzie Butera Davis