Category Archives: Digestive System

Activities about the Digestive System

Good Teeth for Good Food

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!

Project #1 – Good Teeth

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This easy activity is an extension of Activity #3 of our Health lesson in About Me.

You will need:

  1. Large Craft Sticks
  2. Tooth Worksheet
  3. Clear Page Protector
  4. Washable Markers
  5. Sponge
  6. Glue (we used hot glue for quick drying)
  7. Scissors

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Have your child decorate both sides of a craft stick with markers. While she is doing this, cut a small rectangle out of a sponge (for the bristles). Glue the sponge onto one end of the stick. Easy!

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Print out some clip art of teeth, or use our Tooth Decay Worksheet, and place it in a page protector. Your child can draw food on the teeth and “brush” it off with her toothbrush.

Warning: Do not use water! This is not good for the colored craft sticks.

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Why We Like It: Kids love making this craft, and they love making the food particles disappear even more! This activity is a good opportunity to show children the correct way to brush, which is not only side to side, but also in little circles (see this video clip).

 

Project #2: Good Food

This simple activity explains why eating a lot of white flour products can clog you up!

Put 1/3 cup each white and wheat flour into two separate bowls. Have your child handle them – can she see and feel a difference?

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Add 3 tablespoons of water to each bowl and stir.

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When the mixtures are getting too dry, pick up the dough and form a ball of each with your hands. Which one is stickier? Which one is more likely to get stuck in your intestines?

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Why We Like It:  With this activity, children get to feel some fiber and see what happens to a starchy food product when it gets wet. Many children suffer from chronic constipation, and this  will help them understand why they should eat foods with fiber. You can find a good explanation of how wheat and white flours are processed here.

Teach your kids more about their health with our new 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

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Hippo and Crocodile

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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.