We did a lot of hands-on activities over the course of two or three weeks. I’m going to put them all into one post.
Does food fall down to the stomach? We proved that muscles helped move the food bolus down to the tummy with this quick upside-down activity. Everyone took turns standing on their hands, chewing up a cracker and swallowing. We also did this lying on our sides. Yes, the food travels to the stomach, no matter what direction the esophagus is pointing.
As food is swallowed, the muscles in the esophagus contract and relax. This activities with panty hose showed how the food is pushed down with the rhythmical muscle movement.
After food is swallowed, it collects in the stomach where stomach acid and food enzymes mix. Muscles in the stomach wall squeeze the food around to mix it.
Make your own vomit:
The kids were keen to do this quick activity that I saw on Zelda’s wondeful blog, Homeschool Escapade, a couple of years ago. We used the recipe she suggested:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup
- 1/2 mashed banana
- 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped (we were out, so we used a red pepper)
- 1 or two cookies or crackers, crushed (we used 3 so each kid could do their own)
- 1/8 cup vinegar (we were out, so we used lemon juice as our stomach acid)
- 1 tsp baking soda
As the stomach wall squeeze and mix the food mixture, it makes a lot of noises. We took turns listening to each other’s tummies. The kids said they could here a lot of noise, but unfortunately without my hearing aid in, I couldn’t hear much (though I’ve certainly heard my own rumble from time to time!!)
Using panty hose we squeezed some cooked oatmeal down through our “intestines.” We noticed how some small particles, “nutrients,” were able to make their way out of the lining of our “intestines.”
We pulled out our SmartLab Toys Squishy Human Body (affiliate link.) and spent time looking over all the internal organs. This product by Smart Lab is really fun. The kids love it and it has held up well.
I have a few more things to share with you about this unit, but I need to bring this post to a close for now. The digestive system packet I made for this portion of our unit is now available as part of our Digestive System student packet:
40+ Page Digestive System Student Worksheet Packet with Hands-On Activity Ideas
Our 40+ Page Digestive System Packet has worksheets and activities that cover the following areas:
- Part I: Digestive System — Mouth
- Part II: Digestive System — Swallowing, How the epiglottis works
- Part III: Digestive System — The Digestive Tract
- This packet also include lapbook pieces for interactive notebooks.
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use) to your PayPal email address, which will have a link you can click on to download the Digestive System pdf. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.) Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or can reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.
What is included?
Worksheets on the Digestive Tract
Also included are worksheets and our hand-on activities of the mouth
You will also find worksheets and activity ideas about swallowing, the epiglottis and choking in this packet:
We included all of our hands-on activity ideas in this packet as well:
Again, to purchase all of the worksheets you see above click the button below. This will send you to paypal:
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use), which will have a link you can click on to download the Digestive System pdf. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.) Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or can reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.
Related Posts That Might Be of Interest:
- Human Body Systems–We started this unit with an overview of all the body systems. That’s because we only cover one unit about the human body each year. Last year, for example, we studied the circulatory system. (Human Body Unit: Heart and Circulatory System Activities)
- Creating a Homeschool Science Curriculum (Elementary): Science topics to cover, choosing and preparing for units and more.
Check out our other science units:
- Rocks and Minerals: Free 25 page packet, free pages on the 3-types of rocks, lots of hands on activities
- Simple Machines: Lots of hands on activities, plus a student worksheet packet