Digestive System: Hands-On Activities – Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestines

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.

Esophagus Activities:

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.

esophagus-shop

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.

Esophagus-Muscles-Contract-and-Relax

Stomach Activities:

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
Of course, it all fizzed, but after it was done we were all SO GROSSED OUT!!! What do you think? Looks pretty disgusting, doesn’t it?
IMG_4654fake-vomit
 (Zelda does a lot of hands-on, wonderful activities with her kids, be sure to go check out her blog, Homeschool Escapade.)

Stomach Noises:

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!!)

IMG_4372-stomach-noises

Small intestines:

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.”

Small-Intestine-ActivityWe 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.

Squish-Body

IMG_4380SquishyHumanBody

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.
  • And, it now includes a 30-page section on nutrition – fiber & vitamins

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.

Be sure to check out the Human Body BUNDLE down below. :)

$5.99

What is included?

Digestive-System-Worksheets  Digestive System WorksheetThere is also a cut-and-paste on Digestive System Functions:

Digestive Functions Worksheet

Worksheets on the Digestive Tract

DigestiveSystemWorksheets-Stomach-Intestines

Lapbook/notebook pieces:

DigestiveSystem-LapbookPages

Also included are worksheets and our hand-on activities of the mouth

DigestiveSystem-Mouth-Worksheets

You will also find worksheets and activity ideas about swallowing, the epiglottis and choking in this packet:

Digestive-System-Worksheets-Epiglottis-Swallowing

 We included all of our hands-on activity ideas in this packet as well:

Digestive-SystemHandsOnActivities

IMG_4635DigestiveFunctions Digestive System WorksheetWhen our family studied the Digestive System again, we spent quite a bit of time learning about the small intestine; liver, gall bladder and pancreas; and the large intestine.  I added a dozen new pages to the packet.  You can choose either the fill-in-the-blank notebook pages or use these pages as supplementary readings (with no words missing!). 

Small intestines, liver gall bladder pancreas large intestines notebook pages

Making the Digestive System Flapbook:

Digestive System Flapbook ActivityHere’s another close-up of the flap-book activity (There are two versions one that kids cut-and-paste that you saw above and this one that has the photos right on the paper.)

Digestive System Flap BookDigestive System Writing Paper - EssayAgain, to purchase all of the worksheets you see above click the button below. This will send you to paypal:

$5.99

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

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.

DigestiveSystemPacket-New-and-Updated

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.


These are some of the packets that are included in our Human Body Bundle.  These packets can be purchase separately or you can purchase all of them in one bundle.  I included some photos of these packets below.

  $3.50 A Study of Cells Unit

  $3.50 Human Body Systems

  $4.00 Skeleton Worksheet Packet

  $5.99 Digestive System

  $4.75 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

$18.00 BUNDLE OPTION HUMAN BODY: Human Body Systems, A Study of Cells Unit, Skeletal System Worksheet Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit (Plus, it includes the rough draft version of our muscular system packet which is not yet available publicly.)

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

—————————————————-

Each year usually in the spring semester, we focus on the human body.

We often spend a little bit of time reviewing what we learned the previous year and then add to what we learned.

If you have younger kids, you might want to just jump right in with the Skeletal System Unit and/or the Digestive System Unit.

Once my kids were a little older (with my youngest in 2nd grade and my older two in upper elementary) – we started covering and reviewing Cells (the organelles and their function) each year. I want them to feel comfortable with the names and have a general idea of the “jobs” each of these organelles have. By reviewing it each spring, they’ve gradually come to understand how these work together a little better each year. That will be helpful once they get to high school level biology.

If you have a student who is 8+ you might want to do the units in this order:

Note: Since our family studies one major system each year, sometimes we skim over some of this so we can dive in depth into that particular body system.

  • Cell Unit
  • Photosynthesis (and you can do a little tangent about atoms and building molecules)
  • Human Body Systems (Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to just introduce them to the major human body systems and then move straight on to one of the units below… or you can spend a little time talking about how cells/tissues/organs/body systems work as a whole. The packet you are getting includes ALL the materials, but I’ve added to this over the course of several years, so don’t feel like you need to cover all of this at once!
  • Skeletal System – We almost always review the major bones of the body each year. Some years, we go into more depth about things like the structure of bones or the axial system. Other times, we review the major bones and move on!
  • Digestive System – This was a fun, hands-on unit. I would suggest you do this one before the Circulatory System unit.
  • Circulatory System – In this unit my kids were in elementary and middle school so we did some data collecting, graphing and other activities. If you have younger kids, you can just focus on the blood system (how blood leaves the heart and enters the lungs to pick up oxygen, then returns to the heart where it is sent off to the extremities).
  • Muscular System – We will be covering this next year (2018, fingers crossed!). This is a VERY ROUGH DRAFT of this packet… and I even hesitated including it in the bundle, but in the end thought it might come in handy if you cover this material before we do!  When we get to this unit and when the file is updated you will get an email from SendOwl (the delivery service I use) letting you know!

Muscular System Worksheets


 

Here are some screen shots of these units:

  $3.50 A Study of Cells UnitAnimal and Plant Cell Worksheets

  $3.50 Human Body Systems

Human Body Systems Worksheets Human Body Systems and their Organs

  $4.00 Skeleton Worksheet Packet

Skeletal System Worksheets

  $5.99 Digestive System

Digestive System Worksheets and Activities

  $4.75 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

Circulatory System Worksheets and Activities

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

You can visit Our Store to find out more about our other packets! :)


Find out more at these posts:

Human-Body-Systems-Worksheets-Bundle

Skeletal-System-Worksheets-Skeleton-Lapbook

Circulatory System Packet 40+ pages

Some of the topics covered in this packet include an overview of the circulatory system, the heart, blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries), blood flow through the heart, blood transport through the body, blood composition (red and white blood cells, platelets), blood types, cholesterol, and diseases of the circulatory system. Plus, we did a number of hands-on activities and the instructions (with photos) are included in this packet.

Circulatory System Worksheets and Activities

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

Rocks-and-Minerals-Unit-Packet

  • Simple Machines:  Lots of hands on activities, plus a student worksheet packet

Simple Machines Packet

See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page. Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter! ~Liesl

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4 Responses

  1. February 11, 2014

    […] Digestive System: Hands-On Activities – Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestines […]

  2. February 11, 2014

    […] Digestive System: Hands-On Activities – Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestines […]

  3. March 31, 2014

    […] Digestive System: Hands-on Activities — Esophagus, Stomach and Small Intestines – 4 or 5 activities we did to see how the muscles of the throat worked, how nutrients pass through the small intestines… we even made fake vomit (uck!) […]

  4. March 31, 2014

    […] Digestive System: Hands-on Activities — Esophagus, Stomach and Small Intestines – 4 or 5 activities we did to see how the muscles of the throat worked, how nutrients pass through the small intestines… we even made fake vomit (uck!) […]

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