Parts of the Body for Kids: Names & Basic Functions

You know your head, shoulders, knees, and toes, but what are the other important body parts? Each large part of the body includes smaller body parts, which have different functions. Keep reading to learn body part names and basic functions of the parts of the body.

boy studying body part from posterboy studying body part from poster

Diagram of Body Parts

External, which means “outside,” describes the body parts that you can see. Take a look at a helpful diagram that labels major external body parts. Download the printable PDF to see it in more detail and print if needed.

parts of body worksheetparts of body worksheet

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Parts of the Head and Neck

You can’t see all the parts of your head without a mirror, because your eyes are on your head too! Take a look at the external parts of the head, what they do, and where they’re located.

Body Part

Location

Functions

face

front of the head

five senses; communicating emotions

scalp

top of the head (under hair)

cooling the head with sweat glands in the skin; protecting the skull with extra blood vessels

forehead

top of the face, above the eyes

forming facial expressions; protecting the eyes

neck

below the head, above the shoulders

supporting the head’s weight; allowing the head to turn; sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body (vertebrae)

eyes

below the forehead, above the nose

sense of sight

mouth

below the nose

eating; talking; breathing; sense of taste

nose

middle of the face

breathing; sense of smell; keeping out foreign particles (with nose hairs)

tongue

inside the mouth

sense of taste (with taste buds); talking (forming words); swallowing

eyelid

just above the eye

protecting the eyes from foreign particles; enable eyes to close

eyelash

on the edges of the eyelid

protecting the eyes from foreign particles

ear

on either side of the head

sense of hearing; maintaining balance

hair

on top of the scalp

regulating body temperature; protecting the scalp

jaw

top of the mouth (maxilla) and bottom of the mouth (mandible)

chewing; opening and closing the mouth; talking

teeth

inside the mouth

chewing food to be digested

Parts of the Arms

Each part of your arm has a specific function. Some parts help you bend, and others help you experience the sense of touch. And don’t forget the part that sets humans apart from most other animals: the opposable thumb!

Body Part

Location

Function

arm

on either side of the torso

performing tasks with movement

upper arm

between shoulders and elbows

flexing the arm; connecting the lower arm to the shoulder

forearm

between elbows and wrists

flexing the wrist; connecting the arm to the wrist

shoulder

joint between the upper arm and torso

connecting the upper arm to the torso; allowing the arm to rotate (range of motion); providing strength to the arm

elbow

joint between the upper arm and forearm

connecting the upper arm to the forearm; extending the arm; rotating the lower arm

wrist

joint between the forearm and hand

connecting the forearm to the hand; rotating the hand

knuckle

joint between hand bones (carpals) and finger bones (phalanges)

connecting the fingers to the hand; allow fingers to bend and extend

hand

end of the arm, connected to the wrist

fine motor skills (writing, pinching, gripping)

palm

flat side of hand

helping with grip; sense of touch

finger

end of hand

helping with grip; sense of touch; gesturing (pointing, hand signals, etc.)

fingernail

end of finger

protecting nail beds from foreign particles; helping with grip

thumb

left or right side of the hand

helping with grip (opposable; can turn back against the other fingers)

Parts of the Legs

It’s easy to think that your legs are just the bottom half of your body, but they’re not. This list of body parts divides the legs into different sections according to location and function.

Body Part

Location

Function

leg

below torso, above foot

keeping the body stable; walking; running; bending the body

thigh

top of leg, above the knee

allowing the leg to flex and move; supporting weight of the upper body

shin

lower leg, under the knee

flexing the foot; stabilizing the ankle 

knee

joint between the thigh and shin

bending the leg; supporting weight of the upper body

ankle

joint between the foot and shin

rotating the foot; connecting the foot to the leg

foot

bottom of the leg

walking; supporting body weight; propelling the body forward

toe

end of the foot

providing balance while walking; distributing body weight

heel

back of the foot

distributing body weight

Parts of the Torso

You’ve heard about “strengthening your core,” but what does it mean? Your core is the middle of your body where your arms and legs branch off. These are the external parts of your core and what they do for your body.

Body Part

Location

Function

torso

middle of the body, between the neck and legs

stabilizing the body (posture); protecting internal organs; connecting the limbs (arms and legs) to the body

chest

top of the torso

protecting lungs and heart; assisting in arm movement

abdomen

middle of the torso

stabilizing the body; protecting internal organs

belly button

middle of the belly

connects a baby’s umbilical cord to its mother’s placenta before birth

back

back of the torso

stabilizing the body; protecting vertebrae, which send messages to the rest of the body

buttocks

back of the torso, just above the legs

cushioning the body when sitting; assisting in hip and thigh movement

waist

middle of torso

stabilizing the body; allowing the upper body to bend to the lower half

hips

lower sides of torso

supporting body weight; helping with walking, sitting, and standing

Body Parts are Pieces in a Puzzle

These external body parts are easy to see on the average person. What’s harder to see are the different body systems working under the skin in each body part. Nerves, muscles, veins, bones – how do these body parts keep you going? Read about the different systems in the human body, made simple for kids.

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