DIY Science Board Game

Health Matters
DIY Science board game: Health Matters

My favorite way to end our science co-op; design a board game! Since we just finished our unit on the Human Body that became the theme for our game.

We decided to base our game on the actual game of “Life.” The goal: acquire a medical profession, buy a medical building and retire with the most money.

We choose 6 medical jobs: Surgeon, Doctor, Nurse, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist and Medical Clerk.

We choose 6 medical buildings: Hospital, Nursing Home, Medical Clinic, Doctor’s Office, Pharmacy, and Urgent Care.

If you roll a 1 or a 6 you can switch salaries with any player.

The kids came up with 24 medical ideas for the Health tiles. For instance, “Find a cure for cancer, earn $100.” The tiles will be collected traveling the board and they can’t be read until the player reaches the retirement community.

Then came the real hard work, thinking of different things to write on the squares on the board. A few of my favorite: Lead the group in singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, For a healthy heart do 10 jumping jacks or Leave scalpel in patient pay $30.

Supplies for DIY Science Board Game:

  • We modge podged some Google images to the cards.
  • Typed up the words onto address labels to make the different cards.
  • Then used a black Sharpie pen and neat handwriting completed the board.

If you want to read about last years game “Journey to the Abyss” hop over to my blog post at Bright Ideas Press 

If you need some help in getting started with making your own DIY Science board game:

Fingerprint Activity

 

Fingerprint Activity

Using a fingerprint activity to help finish up our study of the Integumentary System. My kids have enjoyed their study of the human body and learning the importance of skin.

Now I did not have a fancy kit for crime scenes that would allow us to dust for fingerprints. Really I did not want to clean up the mess from dusting. I did not have a lot of time to plan either. So I came up with a fingerprint activity that I could do with the items in my house.

Fingerprint Activity: Crime Scene

  • ink pad for fingerprints
  • Nerf gun

I had everyone do two sets of their fingerprints. On one set I placed different dots so I would know whose set was whose but the kids would not. This is the set I used for the suspect line-up.

After allowing the kids time to study their unique prints I had them go outside and wait. This allowed me to time to stage the crime scene.

With the second set of fingerprints, I chose one child’s prints and cut out two fingers. I placed these two fingerprints on top of a Nerf gun. Then the kids had to figure out who did the crime. I did not give many details about the crime but they had no problems brainstorming ideas while they were studying the fingerprints.

I gave them the suspect line up so they could match up the fingerprints left on the Nerf gun. They had a blast trying to match them up. If we had more time we probably could have set up more crime scenes with our fingerprints.

Of course my kids wanted to write a story about the crime but that was getting us off topic! We saved the idea for creative writing later in the afternoon.

If you have time to plan you might enjoy these for your fingerprint activities.

Anatomy of the Eye with Cake Balls

Anatomy of the Eye with Cake balls

 Anatomy of the Eye: Parts to Learn

  • Pupil
  • Iris
  • Sclera
  • Optic Nerve

Anatomy of the Eye: Ingredients Needed

  • Cake balls
  • Icing, white
  • Jr. Mints
  • Blue Gel Icing
  • Fruit Roll Up

I had a group of kids assemble these while we reviewed the parts of the eye. I had already cooked the cake balls. Each student got one cake ball, one Jr. Mint, one fruit roll-up, and access to a bowl of white icing and tube of blue gel.

We started with a chocolate cake ball, I had the kids cover them with white icing while we discussed the sclera and tear ducts.

Then the Jr Mint was added, followed by the blue decorating gel. This led to discussions about the pupil, iris and cornea.

The Fruit Roll Up provided an extra delight while representing how muscle attaches to the eye to help it move and in the back to represent the optic nerve.

Anatomy of the Eye

After the eyes were assembled, they were chilled in the fridge for about 20 minutes while we worked on some other projects.

Before eating, I had each student recall the anatomy of the eye using their cake ball as a visual reminder.

Class ended with the announcement “You can now go eat your eyes!”

Learning the Lobes of the Brain

Learning the Lobes of the Brain

My kids and friends gathered together for a day on learning about the nervous system and how the brain works. I wanted to have some hands-on ways to remember the lobes of the brain. This lesson goes well with Christian Kids Explore Biology learning about the human body.

Learning the Lobes by Playing “Brain Says”

The “Brain Says” game, much like “Simon Says” each student takes a turn playing the brain. The Brain can have the other students touch the different lobes of the brain, but if the Brain doesn’t say to touch it the student is out. For an extra challenge the Brain can describe what happens in the lobe and the students can touch the lobe for an answer. See the photo above for where hands go to identify the different lobes of the brain.

Learning the Lobes with Brain Cupcakes

First bake a batch of cupcakes. Then using some homemade buttercream icing and round tip #7, do two big lines down the middle and then random swirl lines on each side.

Using address labels and toothpicks, each student can label the parts of the brain. We chose to label the right and left hemispheres. Then we labeled the 4 different lobes of the brain.

If you are looking for some great ideas on the nervous system check out Spelloutloud Blog.

Try some of these other learning tools for learning the lobes of the brain.