Musculoskeletal 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.

Without your musculoskeletal system, you couldn't pick up your pencil, sit at your desk, or walk to the lunchroom. Learn how the musculoskeletal system gets your muscles, bones, and joints working together to make you move.

What is the Musculoskeletal System?

Imagine trying to kick a ball without swinging your leg or trying to throw a ball with an arm that was as wiggly as a rope. Getting your body to move the way you want it to requires joints, bones, and muscles. If you didn't have joints, you couldn't bend your leg to kick a ball. If you didn't have bones, your arm would be as floppy as a rope. And without muscles, you couldn't move at all.

Together, your muscles, bones, and joints are referred to as your musculoskeletal system, and their job is to provide support and movement for your body.

How Does the Musculoskeletal System Work?

If you look at the word 'musculoskeletal' you see that it is the combination of two body systems: the muscular system and the skeletal system. You might have studied these two systems separately in the past, but sometimes we study them together because they are closely tied together.

The musculoskeletal system is a combination of the muscular system and the skeletal system.

The muscles, bones, and joints are attached to each other by different tissues. Ligaments are found at your joints, and their job is to hold bones together. Tendons are found at the ends of muscles, and their job is to connect muscles to bones.

Here's an example of how the musculoskeletal system creates movement. Your elbow is a joint that is held together by ligaments. Your bicep is a muscle that starts at your upper arm and ends in a tendon that inserts onto your lower arm. When you want to scratch your nose, your bicep muscle contracts and pulls the lower arm bone up so you can reach your nose.

Parts of the Musculoskeletal System


Muscles are bundles of fibers that are attached to your bones. Muscles contract to create movement, and they also help you hold a position. When you stand up straight, muscles in your back and legs contracted to keep you standing straight. You have more than 600 muscles in your body, which is the same number of muscles as a grown up.

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