Monthly Archives: June 2014

Injuries

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About Me is a colorful and engaging science workbook for young children – get a jump start on your child’s understanding of life and the world around him!

Little people are used to getting lots of bumps and scrapes, and they might be curious about why they happen and how they get better.

For the projects on today’s post, you will need paper towels, a piece card stock, a drinking straw, grape juice, a piece of string or yarn, a hole punch, tape, and scissors.

Have your child place one arm on a piece of card stock, and the other arm on a paper towel. Trace around each. Cut out the card stock arm.

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Project #1: Bruises

With some grape juice (blood) and a straw (blood vessel), you can introduce your child to the circulatory system.  Have her drink some juice with the straw.

Place a paper towel on a table. Cut your straw in half (hopefully, there will be some residual drops inside) and place it on the paper towel.  Lay the paper towel with the arm tracing on top.

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You can explain to your child that bruises happen when her skin gets hit or bumped, and the blood vessels underneath break and leak out blood. Have your child hit the arm tracing. This should cause some juice drops to fly out of the straw and create a “bruise.”

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Why we like it: This project is easy and action packed! And, like with a lot of our activities, it shows children what’s going on underneath their skin.

 

Project #2: Stitches

This activity is especially captivating for the aspiring surgeon-

Have your child draw a cut on the card stock arm.

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Assist your child in punching out an equal number of holes on either side of the cut.

Cut a 2 inch piece of drinking straw for the needle. Cut one end at an angle, so it is pointed. Now snip out two small opposite holes on the other end (for the eye).

Wrap a small piece of tape tightly around one end of a piece of yarn. Thread the yarn through the eye of your needle. Tape the other end of the yarn to the back side of the arm. Show your child how to “sew” the stitches.

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Why we like it: Children love an opportunity to “sew.” While you are making the craft, you can explain how cuts heal and why bigger cuts need a little extra help. Your child can also draw smaller cuts on the arm and put band-aids on them.

More activities, worksheets and stickers, in Lesson 18 (Injuries) of our first workbook, About Me!

Digestion

More fun activities, worksheets, and sticker pages in our first workbook, About Me!

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Project #1:  Digestive Hose

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Our version of this learning activity is clean, easy, and suitable for young children.

You will need one pair of pantyhose, various colors of play dough, scissors, a safety pin, and a chip clip.

Cut off the foot of one leg of your pantyhose (this leg will be the intestines). Cut off half of the other leg (esophagus). Cut a vertical slit through both layers, down the middle of the waste (the abdomen/waste section of the pantyhose will be the stomach). This slit will enable you to tie a double knot to close up the stomach.

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*Optional: We sewed a vertical seam down the middle of the esophagus leg and cut off the excess to make it narrower and more realistic.

Twist and clip the opening to the “intestines”. This represents the pyloric sphincter, which keeps food from coming back into the stomach from the small intestine.

Now for the fun! Have your child mold different foods out of play dough. Carefully pin the opening of the esophagus to the neck of her shirt. She can pretend that she is chewing each “food” by mashing it up. Then she can push it down the esophagus into the stomach.

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When she has “chewed” and “swallowed” all her food, you can then assist her in churning and mashing the foods together.

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After digesting, you can remove the chip clip and push the play dough down through the intestines. (You may need to peel the hose from the sticky play dough.)

Why we like it:  This model of the digestive system is like the real thing in that the esophagus, stomach, and intestines are stretchy, and the intestinal tract is much longer than the esophagus. Kids can visually experience the entire digestive process, and you can fill in any details you like while they are completing the activity.

 

Project #2: Digestive House

This quick and easy activity will take your child on a  journey through a giant digestive system!

Your supplies will be white paper or card stock, tape, scissors, a spray bottle, and one or two play tunnels.

You will need to do this activity in three rooms that have doors fairly close together. It’s best if your first room has two entrances.

For your first room (the mouth), cut some large teeth out of white paper or card stock and tape them down the opening edge of a door. Place one end of your play tunnel at the other door. The tunnel should lead to another room (the stomach).

Your child can pretend he’s a food and enter the first room through the toothed door. Now he is inside a giant’s mouth! You can spray him with a little water (saliva).

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After you’ve talked about what goes on in the mouth, your child can crawl down the esophagus (the first play tunnel) to your second room, the stomach.

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He can pretend he is being churned and smashed (we played Ring-Around-the-Rosies and subbed in more appropriate lyrics). If you only have one tunnel, switch it now to lead to room number three.

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After being digested, your child can enter the tunnel (the intestines) that leads to the final room.

Why we like it: This is a fun and active way to reinforce your other activities on the digestive system. Kids love to role play their favorite foods and pretend what it’s like to be chewed, swallowed, squeezed, and processed.

*Optional Activity – Your kitchen sink and plumbing underneath is another good model of a digestive system. Fill the sink with a little water, dump in some highly soluble foods (such as crackers), swish it all around, drain your sink, and grind up the food in the disposal. The sink and water are the mouth and saliva, and the disposal is the stomach. The pipes underneath are the sink’s intestines, which eventually lead out of the “body”.

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Teeth

Workbook for ages 4-6, all about the human body

About Me is a colorful and engaging science workbook for young children. Get a jump start on your child’s understanding of the human body and the world around her!

There’s a reason why your teeth have different shapes. Today’s post will explore teeth and why they look the way they do.

Project #1: Know Your Roots

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You will need white and red play dough (we used Crayola Model Magic).

Separate your white play dough into 20 small, equal pieces.

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Form teeth by pinching one end of each piece (the root of the tooth) and indenting the other side (the top of the tooth). A standard child’s mouth, before they start losing teeth, will contain:

8 molars, 8 incisors, and 4 canines.

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  • Incisors help bite pieces from food.
  • Canines help hold and tear food apart.
  • Molars help grind food.

You will need to let the teeth dry and harden (either overnight, or in the oven.)

Now you can mold 2 sets of gums out of your red play dough. Use a diagram like the following to help you insert your teeth into the correct positions:

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You will probably think that this set of teeth needs serious orthodontic attention, but your child will think it’s cool.

Why we like it: With this model, you can teach your child about the different types of teeth and what they’re for. You can see what an entire tooth looks like and learn which position each takes in your mouth. Have a mirror handy for your child to study her own teeth during the lesson.

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Project #2: Animal Teeth Shapes

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Extend your discussion about teeth shapes with this fun activity about animal teeth!

You will need white (or mostly white) paper cups and scissors.

First, cut a rectangular section, about 2 – 2 1/2″ long, out of the top of your cup.

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Then decide which type of animal teeth you want to create. Carnivores have sharp teeth for eating raw meat. Herbivores have sharp incisors for chewing up plants, and rodents have long, sharp incisors (that never stop growing!) for chopping into tough nuts and seeds.

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Lion and Tiger

horse&camel

Camel and Horse

rat&squirrel

Rat and Squirrel

croc&hippo

Hippo and Crocodile

Ahhhhhhh!

Ahhhhhhh!

Cut out your desired teeth shapes. You may need to draw a template on the inside of the cup piece to help guide your child.

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Why we like it: This project is a great accompaniment to a lesson on teeth shapes because certain animals have only one type of front teeth, depending on what they eat. Focusing on one animal at a time can really help your child learn the names of each type of tooth. He will also love acting goofy (or scary!) with his new teeth!

More activity ideas, PLUS WORKSHEETS AND STICKERS, about the human body in our first workbook, About Me.

Germ Fight!

About Me includes worksheets, sticker pages, and activities - all about the human body!

About Me includes worksheets, sticker pages, and activities – all about the human body!

Three projects this week! – all about viruses and how our bodies fight them.

You will need: red construction paper (rolled into a tube), red, white, and other colors of play dough, Q-tips broken in half, and miniature pom-poms.

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Project #1: A Giant Virus

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This easy activity is a realistic depiction of what a virus looks like. The protein spikes (Q-tips) are what germs use to stick and break in to cells. Once inside, viruses can replicate. This is how they multiply and spread.

Show your child some photographs of viruses. Then she can make a virus from play dough and Q-tips.

Why we like it: This virus model looks real. While your child makes it, you can teach her how a virus works. Make a cell model out of play dough and have the Q-tip virus attack it! You can also teach about and make models of bacteria, which exist in different shapes:

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Project #2: Battle Inside a Giant’s Bloodstream

To demonstrate one way our bodies fight germs, you can make a model of what goes on in a blood vessel.

Show your child a photo of blood cells, like the following:

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She can form red blood cells by rolling red play dough into small balls and pressing a dent into the center of each with her finger.

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Now make some white blood cells, which are more spherical, with no dents.

Dump out a bunch of miniature pom-poms – germ invasion! Show your child how the white blood cells swallow up the “germs”.

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When she has conquered the germs, have her place her cells and perhaps some more germs into a giant blood vessel (your red tube of construction paper).

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Why we like it: Again, we like the realistic models in this activity. It’s easy and tons of fun for kids to wage war against the evil viruses.

The following idea is an extension of this activity:

 

Project #3: White Blood Cell Cookies

Sound appetizing? Our taste testers thought they were delicious!

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First, mix up some dough for Surprise Cookies. (You will need basic ingredients and jelly beans). Help your child form 1 inch balls out of the dough. These are the white blood cells. Bring out a package of jelly beans – these are the germs. Have your child pretend that each white blood cell is eating up a germ, just like in Project #2 (wrap the dough completely around the jelly bean).

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Bake according to instructions.

Yum!

Yum!

Find more fun facts and activities in Lesson 16 of our first workbook, About Me.

Lesson 16 (first page) from About Me