A couple of years ago, my older son received a gift – a puzzle.  It wasn’t just any puzzle, though.  It was a magnificent floor puzzle of the human body by Melissa and Doug.  On one side is the skeletal system, and on the other side is a picture of organs and muscles, both sides with labels and a key.  It is quite impressive, stretching four feet across our living room floor.

What I didn’t realize is how much it piqued his interest in the human body.  Since then, we’ve purchased a 3-D miniature model with removable organs and a fold-out book with a life-size diagram along with countless books and charts.  We are constantly being told little tidbits of information about bones or muscles, the digestive system or the brain.

My son didn’t instantly attain this high level of interest for the human body.  It developed over time as we worked the floor puzzle together, over and over.  What makes the puzzle perfect for children is the size.  For them, it is life-size.  My son would sometimes lay down on the floor beside it (and a few times, on top of it) to compare himself to the image on the puzzle.  He could identify bones and organs easily.  And, once we had that down, he was eager for more, which led us to the other items we acquired.

I’m not saying that exposing your child to this particular puzzle will assure them an MD after their name later in life, but it will bring tons of enjoyment and hopefully encourage them to find out more about their own bodies in a different and fun way.  It is a great challenge for your child!