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.

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.

$4.00

What is included?

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

Again, to purchase all of the worksheets you see above click the button below. This will send you to paypal:

$4.00

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

Related Posts That Might Be of Interest:

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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