Simple science experiments are the best! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and it is the perfect time to learn about the heart & our circulatory system.
The heart, the symbol so beautifully displayed throughout Valentine’s Day – our cardiac muscle – is vital to our survival!
My son loves everything scientific, and these days he especially likes his book, Look into Your Body. Since then, he asked me many questions about bones,muscles and how our heart and brain works.
With Valentine’s Day coming, I loved the idea of finding a way to show how the heart beats while encouraging the participation of my son.
I thought and thought and thought…
Then I thought I found the solution!
I thought and thought and thought again….
An finally decided on a project: An inflatable heart it will be!
I love the process of creating. Sometimes my ideas end up in a cul de sac, sometimes they just do not work. Never despair. Each failure leads us to other avenues and who knows? Perhaps it will be a good or better avenue. I started my process of creative thinking to make a heart with tulle and glue and finished with this inflatable heart.
LEARNING ABOUT THE HEART
Before making the heart craft, you could do some other cardiac learning activities:
- Take a toy stethoscope (or real stethoscope if you have one) and listen to the heart beats of each other
- Let the kids move to the rhythm of a song and afterward let them listen to the heartbeat of their neighbor’s heart
- Repeat this experiment while relaxing to compare their data – Remember to make a return on their observations and experiments.
- Read a book about the heart or to find a simple but realistic picture. With my son, we found that there is a vena cava and the aorta coming out of the heart. Then we saw that there are 2 ventricles in the heart , and finally, that there are cardiac veins and coronary arteries of the heart muscle.
CREATE AN INFLATABLE HEART CRAFT
At last, to make the inflatable heart craft, you will need:
- A Ziploc bag
- Two straws (one red and one blue)
- Two pipe cleaners (one red and one blue)
- A large red marker to marker
- A hot glue gun
First, ask the children to color in red one side of the bag with the red marker.
Then have them cut out the pipes cleaners in different lengths. You could leave a picture of the heart close so they can easily refer to it.
With caution, help the child glue his pipe cleaners on the bag to recreate the cardiac veins and coronary arteries.
Note: Make clear to the children that they have to make ONE cardiac vein (blue) and one coronary artery (red). The reason is to be able to recreate the three ventricles: the hot glue melts and merge the two sides together creating 3 different ventricles.
All they have to do now is to insert a blue and red straw and zip the bag.
Voila! Their heart is ready to beat the rhythm!
Have the child gently blow into the straw and watch as the heart beats.
There is a little video in my original post that shows my son’ s heart beat. I love that my daughter is at his side is trying to imitate his brother.
A good example of vicarious learning!