Parts of the Skeletal System: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 The Skeletal System
  • 0:28 Bones of the Skeleton
  • 1:25 Joints
  • 1:46 Ligaments
  • 2:19 Cartilage
  • 2:42 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
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 skeletal system is made up of bones, joints, ligaments and cartilage. Learn about these parts of your skeletal system, and discover why babies have more bones than adults!

The Skeletal System

Did you know that a baby has more bones than an adult? Babies are born with about 300 bones. By adulthood, some of those bones become fused, which means they join together. An adult ends up with 206 bones, and these bones make up the bulk of the skeletal system. Now, let's discuss the bones and other parts of the skeletal system, including your joints, ligaments and cartilage.

Bones of the Skeleton

Axial skeleton
Axial Skeleton

The human skeleton is split into two parts: the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. If you drew a line down the center of your body, you'd touch most of the bones of your axial skeleton.

Your skull, rib cage and spine are all part of the axial skeleton. These bones act like built-in armor--they form around delicate organs, like your brain, heart, lungs and spinal cord, to protect them from damage.

The bones of your legs and arms make up your appendicular skeleton. These bones are connected to each other by freely movable joints. The bones and joints of your appendicular skeleton make running, throwing a ball and dancing possible.

Bones do a lot of things for you. We already learned that they protect delicate organs and allow for movement. The bone marrow found inside of bones makes blood cells.

And, we can't forget that bones support your body so you can stand up straight. Without bones, you would be a blob and have to creep along the ground like a slug!


The place where bones come together is called a joint. Some joints allow a lot of movement, like the joints in your arms and legs. Other joints are held together tightly, like the joints in your skull.

Joints can be injured when you play sports. For example, a separated shoulder is an injury to the joint that holds the arm bone and shoulder together.


Ligaments of the knee
Ligaments of the Knee

Ligaments are strong bands of tissue. Many joints are held together by ligaments. These bands also limit motion in some of your joints.

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