Digestive Hose


Our first workbook, About Me, includes worksheets and crafts about the Digestive System.

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.

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

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).


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.
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.

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


*Another idea – 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”.

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

Lesson 11, from About Me, "Digestive System"

 


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