Endocrine System Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Your endocrine system is made up of glands that release essential hormones. In this lesson, learn about the parts of the endocrine system, including the pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands, pancreas and reproductive glands.

Endocrine System

Did you know there's a system in your body that acts just like the teacher in your classroom? Your endocrine system is your body's teacher (endocrine is pronounced en-doh-krin). It gives organs and other parts of your body instructions so they know what to do. Just like your teacher controls activities in your classroom, your endocrine system controls many activities inside your body, like how quickly you grow and how your body uses food.

Endocrine System Function and Parts

Your endocrine system is made up of glands that release hormones into your blood. Hormones are chemicals that carry instructions, telling your body parts what to do. Hormones use your bloodstream to move around.

Endocrine system
endocrine system

There are many endocrine glands spread around your body, and some glands are only in females while others are only on males. Let's take a look at the major glands:

Pituitary Gland

Hidden underneath your brain is a small endocrine gland that's no bigger than the size of a pea. It's called your pituitary gland. There's a funny thing about it being so small--it makes a hormone that makes you grow big! That hormone is called growth hormone.

Another funny thing about your tiny pituitary gland is its nickname. It gives out so many instructions that it's nicknamed the 'master gland.' You might want to think of your pituitary gland as the head teacher or principal of your body. It's an endocrine gland that tells the other endocrine glands what to do.

Thyroid Gland

Thyroid gland
thyroid gland

Your thyroid gland is another endocrine gland. It sits in front of your throat, down around where the collar of your shirt would be. Due to its shape and location, its often compared to a bow tie. Your thyroid makes hormones that help your cells use energy. As a kid, your thyroid hormones play an important role in helping your nervous system and bones grow and develop.

Adrenal Glands

Adrenal glands
adrenal glands

Your adrenal glands sit right on top of your kidneys. They make your kidneys look like they're wearing helmets. Your adrenal glands makes the hormone adrenaline, which prepares your body for something scary or exciting. Have you ever heard of an adrenaline rush? It's a term that people use to describe the excited feeling that comes when they do something brave, like riding a bike down a steep hill.

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