Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fun With the Circulatory System

Here is a fun activity and song you can use in learning about the circulatory system. This is an activity where you create a circulatory system in a room and the child travels along its path delivering oxygen and nutrients before it goes back to the heart. The song is sung to the familiar melody of "The Wheels on the Bus." The detailed description of the activity is below.

The Heart Pumps the Blood
Sung to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus"
The heart pumps the blood around and round, (alternate words: The heart circulates the blood around)
round and round, round and round
The heart pumps the blood around and round,
All through the body.

The blood takes the oxygen round and round
round and round, round and round
The blood takes the oxygen round and round
To the brain (touch head)
To the fingers (wiggle or open and close fingers)
And toes (touch toes)

The blood takes the nutrients round and round
round and round, round and round,
The blood takes the nutrients round and round
So the body is healthy and strong (show muscles in arms)

The blood in the body goes back to the heart,
back to the heart, back to the heart,
The blood in the body goes back to the heart,
Then starts all over again.

Circulatory System  Activity

Choose an area with space for this activity -- like a family room.

The first thing to do is to create the circulatory system as described below.

 1. First, create a "heart" tent or tunnel by draping a sheet between two chairs or over a card table. Red sheets or fabric would make it even more fun. Then label it with a big cut out heart (red paper) with the word "heart" on it.

2. Next, use yarn to create a long path that the blood will take from the heart tent or tunnel, around the body (or room), and back to the heart tent or tunnel. Try to use lots of space in the room. The path can go behind a couch or recliner or however you want it to go. If possible, use yarn to create the two sides of the path so it looks like a path rather than just a line of yarn.

3. Create Oxygen Circles. Cut out some circles and write the letter "O" on them. They will represent the Oxygen. Next, choose something to represent the lungs. This could be a picture of the lungs or a couple of pillows or cushions, or even a balloon or beach ball (since they have to be filled with air). Place the "lungs" close to the path a little way from the heart tent. Place the oxygen circles on or close to the lungs.

4. Create Happy nutrients. Cut out colored circles and draw smiley faces on them. These will be the happy nutrients. Next, put some real or play foods in a basket or bowl and place it a few steps beyond the lungs but close to the path. Put the smiley faces (happy nutrients) with the food . You can have a picture of the stomach by the food if you want.

Now for the Fun!
Once the circulatory system is made, then the fun can begin. The child gets to take a journey through the heart and along the path through the circulatory system. Have them start at the heart. They can go into the tunnel or tent. Then sing the first verse of the song. As you sing it, they child travels along the path and comes back to the heart.

Then have them do it again, but sing the second verse and have them stop at the lungs and pick up oxygen circles. Then as you sing and they travel on the path, they toss their oxygen circles away like they are giving oxygen to a part of the body. If all of their oxygen circles are gone by the last phrase of the song, then they can touch their head, wiggle their fingers and touch their toes as they sing that part of the song. Then they go back to the heart.

For the third verse, do it similarly to the 2nd verse, but this time they pick up the happy nutrient smiley cards and toss those around as they travel on the path.

For the last verse, you could have them start at the heart, then race to follow the path and get back to the heart before the verse ends. If you sing it faster and faster, they might enjoy the challenge of trying to beat the song.

Variety of actions

You could have them try different ways of traveling along the path like hopping, crawling, dancing, tip-toeing, etc. Have fun.

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