Blood sensory bin

E.’s new focus is on the human body, more precisely on BLOOD. She loves talking about it, seeing it, reading about it and experiencing it. That’s why the sensory bin idea has come up.

She started to be interested in blood when she first saw some blood vessels in the Usborne book titled: What makes you ill?

This book is about a lot of other things and not only blood: symptoms, germ types, allergies, cuts, lumps and bruises as well as a healthy lifestyle.

She’s been asking so many questions about our blood: Why is blood red? When does it come out of our body? What do white blood cells do? What are germs?

I remembered seeing a great activity on blood and after having searched for it for days I didn’t manage to find so I had to do with what I remembered.

What you need:

  1.  a big bin (IKEA)
  2. water (about 1 litre)
  3. water beads (red and white – you can buy them at the florist’s or order them online)
  4. plastic straws (of 3 different colours. I used purple, black and yellow)
  5. red foam sheet
What to do:

  1. Put the red and white water beads in two bowls and add half a litre of water each. Let them soak for 5-6 hours or overnight

  2. Cut up the straws into different shapes

    Antibodies (yellow straw pieces) help to kill germs (viruses and bacteria). They are the memory of the immune system.

    Viruses and bacteria (purple and black straw pieces) are tiny germs attacking your body and making you ill.

  3. Cut out rectangle shaped platelets (at first I forgot to make these, nevertheless, E. has been playing with this sensory bin for more than a week now so I had time to add them)

  4. Prepare the beads, the straws and foam rectangles, some measuring spoons or ladles, a let your child explore it.
    spooning the red blood cells

    Red blood cells (red water beads) carry food and oxygen to the cells in our body.

    Adding the antibodies
    Spooning the white ones

    White blood cells (white water beads) fight off germs (viruses, bacteria).

    Plasma (water) makes it possible for the blood to move around our body.

    Of course, before she started I explained what is what. While she was pouring in the “ingredients” I was commenting what she was adding what their functions are in the blood.

  5. Optional: Add some more bowls for more spooning

It was never ending fun and still is. The beads lasts for weeks if you don’t forget to add some more water every now and them.

Few days ago I found the site where I first saw this idea:  I can teach my child – What is blood made of? They use ping-pong balls for white blood cells… What a great idea!

Sooooo nice to touch the beads

Look, Mommy! A virus!

Antibodies are stuck on the bacteria and burst them

Throughout the week I added some other tools to fish out the germs: tongs and tweezers:

Platelets (red foam rectangles) help to block a hole in your blood vessels when you have a cut. They do not let your blood out of your body.

E. has been playing so much with the blood sensory bin that we’ve had enough time to cover the blood-related vocabulary both in English and Hungarian. So here is a word list to help you if you decide to prepare this fun activity for your kid. If I’m in a good mood, I might make some flashcards in this field.

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