STEAM Hand Model
This articulated hand model is a fun craft to help you learn about the anatomy of your hands! Using supplies from your Arts and Crafts Library, make a moveable model hand and learn how your skeletal and muscular systems work together to make your fingers move. Read below for the full DIY.
- Thin cardboard (like from a cereal box)
- Paper straws
- Hot glue gun (*Always have an adult help you use a hot glue gun!)
- Washable paint
- Paint brush
- Large beads
- Embroidery floss
Step 1: Lay your hand flat on top of your thin cardboard with your fingers spread open. Trace around the outside of your hand and down past your wrist. Cut out the shape of your hand with scissors.
Step 2: Cut your paper straws into 1 inch and 3 inch pieces. Use your hot glue gun to glue the paper straws onto the fingers and palm of your cardboard hand. You will want to have two shorter pieces on each finger/thumb with a longer piece on the palm underneath each finger. Leave a gap between straws. Gently bend the cardboard back and forth in between each piece of straw.
Step 3: Paint your hand, if you like! You can use any color of paint you want. We use the Lilac color of our Kid Made Modern washable paint.
Step 4: Cut 5 long pieces of embroidery floss from your Arts & Crafts Library. Tie a large bead (larger than the straw opening) to one end of each piece of string. Starting at the top, thread each piece of string through the straws in each finger and through the straw on the palm underneath each finger. The bead should be at the top when you finish. You can use the needle in the Arts & Crafts Library to help if you need it! Once all five strings are threaded through, you can tie them together in a knot at the bottom, if you like.
Step 6: To use your articulated hand, gently pull on the bottoms of the strings and watch the fingers bend! You will see the fingers bend along each of the creases that you made between straws.
How do our real fingers bend?
This model is a great representation of how the muscles and bones in our hands work together to move! The muscles that make your fingers bend aren’t actually in your hand - they’re in your arm! Long tendons stretch from these muscles up to the tips of your fingers. Tunnels called tendon sheaths help guide the tendons and keep them in place. When the muscles contact, they pull on the tendons and make your fingers bend. In our model, the strings represent these tendons and the straws represent the tendon sheaths!