Hands-on Science: What is blood made of?

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Blood has become a familiar sight in our household these days.  Whether it is a scraped knee or bloody nose (from intense allergy issues), blood is quite intriguing to our boys.  After one of our recent encounters with blood, Big Brother asked the question, “What is blood made of?”

 

We checked out some library books on the human body and began our research.  I have used water beads in sensory tubs before and immediately knew the perfect way to demonstrate the various parts of blood in a fun and hands-on way!

 

*Please note:  This activity is not suitable for children under the age of 3.  Please be careful with younger siblings as the water beads can be a choking hazard.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:  a large plastic container (or sensory tub), red water beads, ping-pong balls (super cheap on Amazon), water, and red craft foam.  

 

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1.  Follow the instructions on the packaging to hydrate.  Go ahead and put them (and the water) into your plastic tub / sensory table to soak.  Our package instructions indicated that once you add the water, it takes 10 hours for them to fully hydrate.

 

 

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2.  Cut the craft foam into small pieces to create your platelets.

 

 

 

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3.  Put the “platelets” and several ping pong balls in your plastic tub.

 

 

 

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4.  Let your kids explore for a while and then tell them the parts of blood:

Red water beads = Red Blood Cells (that carry oxygen)

Ping Pong Balls = White Blood Cells  (that fight germs, bacteria, and viruses)

Craft Foam Pieces = Platelets (that help heal cuts)

Water = Plasma (helps the blood move through veins and arteries)

 

 

 

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This was a huge hit for the boys…and they were able to give Daddy a full synopsis once he came home from work!

 

 

 

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From the book:  The Human Body 

 

 

 

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From the book:  Body:  An Amazing Tour of Human Anatomy

 

 

 

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Overall, a great learning experience for us all!  What is your favorite science experiment?

Comments

  1. Jill says

    This is a great idea! For a fun treat you could reinforce the same concept by making Kool-Aid: cherry crystals (red blood cells), sugar (white blood cells), ice cubes (platelets), and water (plasma.)

  2. says

    I love this very much! I’ve definitely pinned for a future homeschool activity once we get there (and my child is older), but what a fantastic way to teach children about blood! It looks so inviting and not ‘scary’ or ‘icky’!

  3. says

    Thanks for the idea,this is a great idea for my son who is blind. For him everything is hands on a nod this will help me explain blood to him. Thank you!

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