Digestion Experiment in a bag : Exploring the Stomach

Lately Dimples has been fascinated with human Anatomy. We've been doing things focused on the human body & he's been doing lots of pretend doctor play. As usual, he has been asking lots of questions and telling lots of stories.

We started making a cardboard model of a human body and using his leapfrog tag human body book we explored and learnt about digestion, breathing, the heart, the function of body parts, the skeletal system and extending on this by developing his own "person".

One of the things he found interesting, as I'm sure many preschoolers do, is digestion and where the food goes before it turn to poo. Dimples uses the basics to explain the process "food goes in & my body uses the healthy bits for energy like petrol". We talk about how carrots help your eyes see good, fish makes your brain quick witted, beans are good for your blood and your heart, yogurt strengthens your Bones and so forth.

This digestion experiment was done to answer some of his questions about the stomach, food (& poo) and why food goes in looking lovely, where it goes and why it comes out looking like.... anything but pretty! That's putting it nicely, Dimples didn't say it quite that way :-)
We got a large zip lock bag to represent our stomach.
Then I laid out some different types of food varying in color, texture, a range of what someone may eat through a day and I asked Dimples what his 'stomach' would like to eat!
He added in some peas, cauliflower, cheese, scrambled egg, tomato sauce, potato chips, tomatoes, a biscuit, Vegemite on bread, juice, strawberry, banana & jelly into his "stomach". It looked fine for a moment.
We discussed how the stomach digests the food and how the stomach has acid in it, where the food travels before it enters the stomach and then where it goes before it comes out. Dimples pretended to be the stomach muscles; the stomach is a muscle with three muscle bands and it helps crush, mosh, and digest foods. Stomach acids work with the muscles to digest and pass in the food so as Dimples worked away like a muscle would he started pulling some faces 'gross' 'yuk' 'look'.

It ended up looking very gross, lucky we have strong stomachs because the sight of it looked like vomit. He poked at it and squished it inside the bag making sure it was fully digested.
It was very interesting for him and it did provide a fun way to visualize the digestive process and answer some of his questions.

Learning areas:
Sensory Activity
Linking Observation to Cognition regarding human anatomy
Basics of digestion
Exploring Healthy eating
Learning about human body processes
Experimenting and exploring
Cause and effect

Happy Adventures


  1. Oh yikes! Yes, great post but that pic gets my stomach churning!! hehe!
    How cool though to give Dimples such imagery of what's going on in there!

  2. This is following a child's lead at it's best. What a great way for him to explore and learn in a really visual and tactile way. Love it.

  3. I love it! You are such a great mum to follow his interests like this. I'm giggling now as Miss Pea is so squeamish but her brother would be into it! :) Hannah (paint on the Ceiling)

  4. Clever idea. A great one to do with kids at school as well! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. This is a fantastic idea and something I hope to remember for when my little one is old enough and starts asking about...poo. :) Thanks for linking up for Mummy Mondays :)

  6. This totally brings back memories of year 8 science class (Year 8!!). My teacher made a grand scene of putting everyday foods in a bag and then mushing them up -- in the end they looked just like that. What a great activity for Dimples, it's all a part of life isn't it :-)



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