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. 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!

igestive-System-Worksheets

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

Click here to save this on Pinterest:Digestive System Hands-On Activity - Swallowing and the EpliglottisThe kids did a cut-and-paste activity on Digestive System Functions:

Digestive Functions Worksheet

If you kids are in upper elementary/middle school, then they can fill out these notebook pages: Small intestines, liver gall bladder pancreas large intestines notebook pages

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 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
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.)

Worksheets on the Digestive Tract

DigestiveSystemWorksheets-Stomach-IntestinesHands-On Activity: How Long is the Digestive Tract?

DigestiveTract1

Digestive-Tract-Length-Activity

The kids were impressed with just how long the digestive tract is!!!

IMG_4536DigestiveTract

Click here to save this for later on Pinterest: How Long is the Digestive Tract? Hands on Activity

Digestive System Hands-On Activity - How Long is the Digestive Tract

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.”

Digestive System Hands-on Activity

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

Digestive System Packet: The digestive system packet I made for this portion of our unit is now available! It’s been updated a number of times and is now over 100 pages! This packet is perfect for homeschool families with mixed age students!

This unit in included in our Human Body BUNDLE. See details about that here or down below.

Digestive-System-Worksheets

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

Be sure to check out the Human Body BUNDLE Options at this Human Body Systems page or down below. 🙂

The Digestive System Packet is 100+ pages.

Our packets are PDF digital downloads. After your purchase, remember to check your PayPal email address for the download link. This page answers some Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! ~Liesl

Digestive System Unit: $5.99

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

What is included in the Digestive System Packet?

Digestive System Worksheets and Activities  Lapbook/notebook pieces:

igestive-System-WorksheetsDigestive System Flapbook ActivityDigestive System Flap BookVarious worksheets and notebook pages:Digestive System Worksheet

DigestiveSystem-Mouth-Worksheets

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!).

Small intestines, liver gall bladder pancreas large intestines notebook pages

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

Digestive System Hands-On Activity Swallowing and the Epiglottis

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 Writing Paper - Essay

A new section on Nutrition: Fiber & VitaminsFiber and our Digestive System worksheet and activityVitamin Worksheet Vitamin Activity Sheets

Note: This packet is included in the Human Body Bundle Options (details below or at this Human Body Systems Page).

The Digestive System Packet is 100+ pages.   Our units are PDF downloads.

Digestive System Unit: $5.99

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

igestive-System-Worksheets

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.


Human Body Systems BUNDLE

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.

Our units are PDF downloads.

$8.99 A Study of Cells Unit (150+pages) Animal and Plant Cells, Cell Theory, Organelles of the Cell, Photosynthesis and More

$4.50 Human Body Systems (talks about the organization of the human body into cells, tissues, organs, systems, etc.)

$5.75 Skeletal System Packet

$5.99 Digestive System (100+ pages)

$5.75 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

$5.75 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

$3.50 Nervous System Packet (20+ pages)

$5.75 Endocrine System Packet – (60 pages) Exocrine glands are those glands that have ducts and lead to the surface of the body… like sweat glands, tear glands whereas endocrine glands (like the hypothalamus or thyroid) secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

$25.00 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 1: Human Body Systems, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit, Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Endocrine System, Reproductive System Worksheets (Does not include the Study of Cells Unit.)

$29.99 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, Endocrine System, 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.)

Not included in the HUMAN BODY BUNDLES, but if you have younger kids you might be interested in this unit:

$5.99 Five Senses Unit: This 100+ page Five Senses Unit has dozens of hands-on activities and detailed, colorful worksheets for learning all about the five senses – sight & the eye, hearing & the ear, taste & the tongue, smell & the nose, touch & the skin. (NOTE: This unit is NOT included in the Human Body BUNDLE options.) Recommended for PreK to Early Elementary. View Post, image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

Five Senses Unit - Worksheets Sorting Cards Interactive Notebook Activities and MoreFAQ: Do you need to purchase any other books or materials to go with these packets? No, these materials will work with any books or curriculum resources you have on hand. The answers to various notebook pages and worksheets are provided.  We tended to get a lot (10-20!!) books from the library and we’d read through those as we covered a particular topic.  When my kids were younger, we did a number of activities from the Body Book (which can be found here affiliate link). I photocopied things onto cardstock. For example, the kids made a skeleton that was about 3 feet once it was put together! They really enjoyed doing that, though it is not necessary to purchase that!

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

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! ~Liesl

View our Privacy Policy here.


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:

  $8.99 A Study of Cells UnitCell Unit Worksheets Cell Biology - Organelles of the Cell worksheets activities Cell organelles worksheets

$4.50 Human Body Systems (50+ pages)

Human Body Systems Worksheets and Activities

Human Body Systems Worksheets Human Body Systems and their Organs

  $5.75 Skeletal System Packet

Skeletal System WorksheetsRecently updated! This packet is now over 90 pages!

Skeletal System Unit Skeletal System Unit - Worksheets Notebook Pages

  $5.99 Digestive System

Digestive System Worksheets and Activities

$5.75 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

Circulatory System Worksheets and Activities

$5.75 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

Muscular System Unit and Hands-On ActivitiesMuscular System Unit Notebook Pages or BookletMuscular System Worksheets

$3.50 Nervous System Packet (20+ pages)

Nervous System Worksheet Packet

Nervous System WorksheetsEndocrine System Unit - Worksheets Notebook Pages and activities Endocrine System Booklet Worksheets

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-BundleHuman Body Organization cells tissue organs systems

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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6 Responses

  1. What is the age/grade range for your products?

    • Hi Denise,
      We are homeschoolers and have been doing our units together, so most of our materials are for a wide range of ages. Plus, we’ve come back to do these units again (several years later). For the Digestive System, for example, we first touched on this when the kids were in early elementary, but then we did this unit again when the kids were 14, 12 and 9… so I updated that packet again with material for older students. That’s the same for many of our units. For example, the kids have now done the Cell Unit several times and last year I added in even more materials (including material I used with my high schooler). If you are wondering in general what units we did at what ages, I have a series of free Curriculum Resource Guides for K-grade 1, Grade 2-3, Grades 4-5, Grades 6-8 and high school that show loosely what we did in those grades (though that varies because my 3 kids are 2 years apart). 🙂 You’ll find the free resource guides here: http://homeschoolden.com/new-to-our-blog-start-here/ Feel free to email if you have other questions (or if that didn’t quite answer your question). ~Liesl

  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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