How to Make a Lung

How Does a Lung work?

We recently purchased the Magic School Bus Human Body Lab, shown at the left and which I will be reviewing when we are completely done with the projects. One of the experiments showcased the Respiratory System and showed how to build a lung, however, this experiment is easy to whip up and I thought I would share how the kids enjoyed it!

You will need a 2 liter bottle, tape, cling wrap, scissors, a balloon and a small strip of paper.

To build the lung cut the bottle in half and attach the balloon to the outside of the bottle and push the balloon through the mouth of the bottle until the balloon is hanging inside the bottle. Next tape cling wrap to the bottom of bottle were you cut the bottle in half, securing it pretty tightly. Lastly fold a small strip of paper in half and tape both sides to the cling wrap, creating a handle.

To use the lung, simply but gently, push the handle in and pull it out… this allows the balloon to fill up with air and release the air, showing how a lung fills and deflates with each breath. The bottle represents our ribs. The cling wrap is like our diaphragm and lungs are like the balloon.

Our kids thought this was really neat!


Of course on the back of the experiment cards that come with the Lab, there are explanations on to relate this to our human body but I would suggest taking the explications further. The book to the left is called See Inside Your Body, and is from Usborne. This book covers all of the systems but I found that it covered them well for small children. There are many flaps in this book for hidden information.

Should your child really like the Magic School Bus, the book to the right The Magic School Bus Presents The Human Body, is a great book full of facts and has a page for the lungs as well. Of course having multiple sources on hand is great too!

Depending on the age of your child, this might be a great time to explain smoking and how it effects the lungs.

Having kids do exercises like holding their breath or breathing in while trying to talk, help showcase the lungs and allows children to take notice to that organ in their own bodies. Here are some quick facts you might want to include…

  • We breathe in Oxygen and breathe our Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is actually a waste product from our bodies burning nutrients to make energy.
  • You take about 20,000 breaths a day
  • Blood from the lung, that is rich in oxygen, is bright red. It turns much darker, almost blueish, as the oxygen is used up in our bodies.

Hope this brings some fun education to your little ones!

Bet + Fam 🙂

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