Check out this variety of human body activities!
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For Christmas, my parents bought the kids a subscription to The Magic School Bus Science Club. Our first pack of experiments arrived, and we couldn’t wait to get started!
Now, if you want to get technical, you’d call most of this month’s activities demonstrations rather than experiments. It’s pretty tough to design actual experiments about the human body. Most of our activities involved creating models to show how the human body works.
What I love most about this subscription is that each envelope comes with directions for a number of different experiments, and almost every supply you need is included. What you see above is what came in our padded envelope.
The booklet is so helpful. It has easy to follow instructions for each activity, plus scientific explanations next to each activity and even more notes in the back for parents. And for this busy mom, that’s exactly what I need. No more hunting on Pinterest and taking notes for each activity! It’s all there in the kit.
What we did: We created a model of a breathing lung.
The only thing I had to buy for this month’s experiments was a 2-liter soda, so we could use the top of the bottle to make this model of a lung. By pulling on the paper at the bottom (the “diaphragm,”) we could see the balloon (“lung”) fill with air.
Our only challenge was getting the plastic wrap on tight enough. Our balloon didn’t expand fully, so it was kind of a weak lung. 😉
What we learned: The diaphragm is a muscle in your body which is attached to parts of the ribs. When the diaphragm contracts, it makes more room for air as you inhale. When it relaxes, there’s less room for air, and you exhale.
What we did: We created a model of a beating heart.
My kindergartner and first grader really loved using the pipette to fill a balloon with red food coloring. Then we attached both the filled balloon and an empty one to the ends of a flexible straw. By squeezing on one balloon, we were supposed to see the “blood” float up the straw, through the human body, and into the other balloon – simulating a human heart.
But we couldn’t seem to get the balloons taped well enough onto the straw, so we had some leaking (hence the towel). Cool idea, though.
What we learned: While the real human heart is more complicated than this model, we learned that the heart pumps blood throughout the body and returns to the heart.
What we did: We created a model of a hinge joint.
There wasn’t much too this one. I cut out the parts of the leg, and we attached them with the brass fastener.
What we learned: We have hinge joints in our elbows and knees. They only allow movement in one direction. We also learned that paper science demonstrations are pretty boring.
What we did: We created a model of a ball and socket joint.
What we learned: In a ball and socket joint (like we have in the shoulder and hip), there’s a wide range of movement.
What we did: We created a model of contracting muscles.
We attached strings to the leg model to show how when one muscle contracts, another muscle loosens. We had a little difficulty with this one because I wasn’t careful to follow the directions. The top string should have been attached more loosely to the leg so that when the leg bent down that string would get tight.
What we learned: Even when you add string to a paper science activity, it’s still boring. Also, muscles around a joint work in pairs. When the bottom muscle contracts, the bone moves down. When the top muscle contracts, the bone moves up.
What we did: We tested different tastes on different parts of the tongue to see if we taste only certain flavors on specific sections of the tongue.
You might have guessed that this was the favorite activity! My Seven covered his eyes while I dabbed bitter, sweet, salty, and sweet flavors on different parts of his tongue. He could almost always guess the flavor, no matter where he tasted it.
What we learned: Despite what we’ve read before, there really is no special place on the tongue for certain tastes.
What we did: We made a model to show what happens when you spin in a circle.
What we learned: This was so simple, but we both learned something new. Did you know why you get dizzy after you spin in a circle? It’s because there’s fluid in your ear that keeps spinning even after you stop turning around. Since our ears are responsible for helping with balance, that spinning fluid makes us feel dizzy.
While some of this month’s activities weren’t super exciting, we did learn a lot. And we just got our solids, liquids, and gases envelope in the mail. We’ll be making slime, a bouncy ball, and lots more. I think the interest factor will be high. To get your own Magic School Bus Science Club subscription, just visit this link.
And keep reading for even more human body science activities!
For more hands-on learning, check out these activities from other bloggers!
Why the human body needs both muscles and bones– I Can Teach My Child
Why I have bones (play dough activity) – A Pinch of Perfect
What is blood made of? – I Can Teach My Child
What’s inside a drop of blood? – Creekside Learning
Fingerprint Science – KC Edventures
Make a fake lung – Science Sparks
Make an edible skin layers cake – My Mundane and Miraculous Life
Make a model of the backbone – Spell Out Loud
Make your own stethoscope – Science Sparks
Human heart demonstration – Kids Activities Blog
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