Quick! Pick-up bones with this super-fun, free anatomy game!
Add some fun to your homeschool science curriculum with this free human body game!
Earlier this year, we shared the basics of teaching biology at home. Now, we want to share a super fun game you can use to review what you have learned about the human body!
Pick-up Bones Game Directions
We had a blast playing this game as a family! I will say though that our 6-year-old took a bit of time to understand how to play, so our version of the game Pick-up Bones wasn't quite as fast paced as it could have been.
- 3 to 8 Players, ages 7 and up
- A set of plastic bones
- A deck of Pick-up Bones cards (Download these for FREE!)
How to Play
1. Place one less bone in the center of the table in a line than the number of players. In other words, if you have 4 players, you will place 3 bones in a line in the center of the table.
2. Decide who the dealer will be. The dealer then passes out four Pick-up Bones cards to each player and sets the deck on his or her right side.
3. To begin playing, the dealer picks up one card from the pile and then chooses a card to discard to the person on his or her left. The player to the right of the dealer discards his or her card into the deck on the dealer’s right.
4. The goal of each player is to have in their hand a full body system, which includes the body system card plus two of the parts that make it up. So for the digestive system, a player will need to have a digestive system card plus the intestines and teeth cards. Use the Pick-up Bones Matching Guide until the players are familiar enough with what goes together to play without it.
5. Once, a player has a full body system in their hand, they can grab a bone from the center.
6. After the first bone is grabbed, the other players can try to get the remaining bones from the center. The player without a bone gets one letter on the road to spell out the word B-O-N-E-S.
7. Once the bones have all been grabbed the round ends, the deck gets shuffled, and the game begins again.
8. Continue to play successive rounds until a player has won the game. As you play, players will be eliminated from the game after they have enough letters to spell out the word B-O-N-E-S. (Note - As players are eliminated from the game, you will need to remove a bone from the center pile.)
How to Win
The winner is the last player remaining in the game.
Additional Game Idea
You can use the Pick-up Bones cards for a quick game of Memory. Remove one of the parts cards for each of the systems and then lay the remaining cards out in a four-by-four grid. Have the players flip over two cards at a time to try to find a match between the body system and the part. Continue playing until all the matches are made. Then, you can repeat the game with the other body cards you removed.
Before you play this game, you can use the following resources to learn more about the human body.
- Make a lapbook about the human body, includes a mini-book on the different body systems.
- Read a living book about the human body!
- Teach your elementary or middle school students about anatomy with one of our programs.
Have you played this game? Let us know how it went in the comments below!
- Paige Hudson