Building this model is a fun activity to do with your kiddos while you talk about blood and what's inside it. I recommend preparing the "plasma" in advance, and then -- as you discuss the different components of blood -- let your children choose different food items to represent each type of cell or other items in the blood.
I made our "plasma" using a pudding mixture. Since blood travels in blood vessels, I made a "blood vessel" out of a plastic baggie. Then we talked about the plasma and different parts of blood. The kids chose different items to represent each component of blood as we went along.
Here is a summary of the parts of blood we used. You can get even more detailed with older children or only use a few of these with younger children:
What's in blood?
in the model: pudding
* Plasma is the light yellowish liquid that carries everything else in the blood.
* About 55% of blood is plasma.
* Plasma is a mixture of water, protein, sugar, fat, and salts.
* Plasma transports blood cells, nutrients, waste, antibodies, hormones, proteins, and more.
#2: Red Blood Cells (or erythrocytes):
in the model: raisins
* About 45% of blood is made of red blood cells.
* Red blood cells contain hemoglobin which binds to oxygen and carries it all over the body.
* Red blood cells also carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs.
#3: White Blood Cells (or leukocytes):
in the model: bananas & pineapple
* White blood cells protect the body from infections. They find and destroy pathogens like bacteria and viruses.
* There are many different types of white blood cells. Neutrophils are some of the first cells to find an injury or infection. They can destroy bacteria and viruses while also summoning other cells to help protect the body. Lyphocytes also attack pathogens, make antibodies, and regulate the immune respondse.
#4: Platelets (or thrombocytes):
in the model: appkes
* Platelets are fragments of cells that help form blood clots and scabs.
* Platelets make a base of cells that other cells can stick to when they need to create a scab. Fibrin also helps this process.
It is also fun to point out that if you eat too much fat, your plasma turns a white, milky color, but this is reversible as your body cleans the fat our of your blood. Also, if you have an infection you will have more white blood cells than normal since they will be on duty destroying infectious pathogens. And finally, kids love to learn that blood is made inside your bones! Red blood cells need replacing every few months and neutrophils only "live" for a day or two, so your bones (the inside, or bone marrow) are constantly making new blood cells!
I hope you have fun making your own edible model of blood and what's inside your blood! This would go great with a "My Body" unit or a unit on your immune system!
This post is part of our Early Elementary Series! You will love these other great ideas of My Body - themed activities from the Early Elementary Team:
STEM Respiratory System Investigation Asthma versus Healthy from Life Over C's
What's Inside Your Blood - An Edible Model from Preschool Powol Packets
Human Body Printables for Kids from Living Life and Learning
Telling the Time - Body Clock from Rainy Day Mum
Human Body Games for Kidsfrom The Natural Homeschool
5 Senses Unit from 123 Homeschool 4 Me
Hands-On Learning about Taste Budsfrom Look! We’re Learning!
Bones from Sugar Aunts
Human Body Math from Planet Smarty Pants
Parts of the Eye Painting from Still Playing School
I may share at any of these parties!
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