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. These hands-on activities are all activities we did as we went through our Digestive Unit. Be sure to check out our 100+ page Digestive System Packet too!
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.
Click here to save this on Pinterest:The kids did a cut-and-paste activity on Digestive System Functions:
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 several 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
Worksheets on the Digestive Tract
The kids were impressed with just how long the digestive tract is!!!
Click here to save this for later on Pinterest: How Long is the Digestive Tract? Hands on Activity
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.
Digestive System Packet: The digestive system packet I made for this portion of our unit is now available!
100+ Page Digestive System Student Worksheet Packet with Hands-On Activity Ideas
Our 100+ 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
- Small & Large Intestine Liver, Gall Bladder & Pancreas
- 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. 🙂
What is included in the Digestive System Packet?
When our family studied the Digestive System again more recently, 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!).
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:
Note: This packet is included in the Human Body Bundle (details below or in our Store).
Again, to purchase all of the Digestive System Packet click the button below:
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.
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 units can be purchased individually or together in our Human Body Bundle Options. See photos down below or at this Human Body Bundle Page or in Our Store.
$22.00 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 1: Human Body Systems, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit, Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Reproductive System Worksheets (Does not include the Study of Cells Unit.)
$27.00 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 2: Human Body Systems, A Study of Cells Unit, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit, Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Reproductive System Worksheets (We often talked about cells as we started our Human Body Units… then went on to talk about human body cells, tissues, organs & systems… and then would move on to a different body system each year. Generally as homeschoolers, we covered just one or two major body systems each year before moving on to another science topic.)
- Cell Packet – Quick Preview
- Human Body Systems Quick Preview
- Skeletal System Packet – Quick Preview
- Digestive System Packet Preview
- Circulatory System Packet – Quick Preview
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! ~Liesl
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).
Here are some screen shots of these units:
You can visit Our Store to find out more about our other packets!
Find out more at these posts:
- 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)
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.
- 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