The digestive system is one of the most important systems in the human body. This blog post helps you teach a great digestive system experiment for kids with related books, videos, and additional outside resources.
Digestive System Experiment
How the Digestive System Works
In this post, I’m going to touch on the basics of the digestive system focusing on the gastrointestinal tract. This lesson should serve an introduction to the system.
First food enters the digestive system when we start to eat. We use our teeth and saliva to break down the food.
Next the food is swallowed and makes its way down the esophagus, making its way into the stomach.
Inside the stomach, it mixes the stomach acids and, since it is a muscle, it grinds the food up even more. From there, the food makes its way into the small intestine.
In the small intestine, more liquids help break down the food. Then, the walls of the small intestine absorb the water and the digested nutrients into your bloodstream.
The food is then moved into the large intestine, and by now it is mostly waste products. Here water is absorbed through the walls of the intestine and changes the waste from a liquid into solid, and is then moved into the rectum and disposed of.
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Digestive System Videos
These 2 YouTube videos are great at explaining the digestive system to kids with great visuals. I really like the first video for younger kids as the drawings are great and it is well explained.
The second video gives an inside look, literally, as we see inside a person! This YouTube video is put out by Operation Ouch. Their collection of human body videos is amazing! If you’re looking for other videos to share with the kids in your life, I highly recommend them. One of the guys in the video swallows a camera and we watch as it goes through his entire digestive system.
Books about Digestion
To help you dive into this subject even more, here are a few books I’ve used to help explain the digestive system.
Read More: Components of Blood Activity
Digestive System Experiment for Kids
To conduct our hands-on digestive system experiment you will need the following materials:
- A Piece of Bread
- 1/4 cup of Water X 2
- 1/4 cup of White Vinegar
- A Bowl
- A DishTtowel
- A Brownie Pan
Digestive System Experiment: Step 1
First, take the piece of bread a rip it up into small pieces like you’re chewing. We like to get a little silly, so we made nom nom nom sounds when we did it to make it sound like chewing. When you’re done, put all the pieces in the bowl.
Digestion Experiment: Step 2
Then take one of the 1/4 cups of water and pour it into the bowl. Use your hands to mix it together to show what happens when saliva comes in contact with food.
Digestive System Experiment: Step 3
Next take the other 1/4 cup of water and mix it with the 1/4 cup of white vinegar. Add it to the bowl and mix. This simulates what happens when the food enters the stomach and mixes with the stomach acids.
Digestion Experiment: Step 4
Take the brownie pan and lay the dish towel over the top of it. This will serve as the small and large intestines.
Digestive System Experiment: Step 5
Pour the contents of the stomach into the pan and towel, the small intestine.
Digestion Experiment: Step 6
Pick up the towel and smash the bread around like the smell intestine would to pull the nutrients from the food. Then squeeze the liquid out of the bread and towel like in the large intestine.
Digestive System Experiment: Step 7
Next, use the dish towel to roll the bread into poop. And trust me when I say it will look like poop.