How to Make a Model of a Human Ball Socket Joint

A shoulder is a ball and socket joint.
••• anconeus muscle image by patrimonio designs from

Ball and socket joints are found in the human body in shoulders and hips. They have a much greater range of motion than elbows and knee joints because they can move side to side and front to back, as well as up and down. Making models of ball and socket joints allows students to see why they have so much greater of a range than other joints. It is a simple task that you can accomplish in a classroom or at home for a science project or home work assignment.

    Set a three ounce paper cup in front of you.

    Roll some clay in your hands into a ball. You want to use about the same amount of clay as it takes to fill the paper cup.

    Place the clay ball into the paper cup and press the end of a craft stick into the clay.

    Rotate the craft stick so the ball moves around inside the cup. This is the same way a ball and socket joint rotates.

    Things You'll Need

    • 3 ounce paper cup
    • Clay
    • Craft sticks


    • Another way to model how a ball and socket joint works is cupping one hand and making the other into a fist. Place the fist in the cupped hand and rotate the fist around with your wrist or arm.

      The Magic School Bus Series also offers a kit with experiments that help explain how the body functions, including a ball and socket joint. You can find it at Parents Choice.

Related Articles

6 Types of Freely Movable Joints
How to Make a 3D Model of the Muscular System for a...
How to Build a Knee School Project
How to Make a Model of the Pivot Joint
Description of the Anatomy of a Human Finger
What Makes a Skeleton Move?
Parts of the Human Heel
Structure of the Muscular System
How to Make a Working Heart Model
How to Shrink Rubber Bands
How to Make a Model of an Ear for Children
How to Build an Egg Catapult
How to Build a Goniometer
How to Build a Gyroscope
Differences Between a Cat, Dog, & Human Skeleton
How Doorknobs Work as a Simple Machine
How to Measure the Carrying Angle with a Goniometer
PH Levels of Catalase