Circulatory System Experiments for Kids

Instructor: Shelby Golden
Kids can increase their understanding of the circulatory system with these experiments. Find out how to conduct these activities and get additional instructional tips with this article.

Pulse Detector

Kids will create their own tools to detect their pulse in this experiment. Collect these supplies to get ready:

  • toothpicks
  • modeling clay

Each child should get a toothpick and a dime-sized piece of clay. They should place the toothpick in the clay and then rest the clay on the inside of the wrist, below the thumb. Your students or children should count the movements of the toothpick for 15 seconds and then determine the beats per minute by multiplying this number by four.

You can take information from each child to set up a graph of the heartbeats of the entire group to make comparisons. This activity offers a good entry point into the circulatory system, and can be supported with this lesson on the parts of the circulatory system.

Blood Vessel Models

Help kids get a visual understanding of how blood vessels contract and expand with this experiment. You'll need to divide your students or children into pairs and provide these supplies to each group:

  • large container of water
  • bulb syringe
  • oblong balloons

The kids should fill the bulb with water. One child is responsible for holding the bulb while the other holds the balloon over the tip. The students should take turns squeezing and releasing the bulb to fill and empty the balloon, mimicking the way blood vessels contract and expand as the heart pumps.

This experiment gives your children or students a tactile experience with the circulatory system. You can help them deepen their understanding of how the heart moves blood around the body with the help of blood vessels with this lesson on the function of the circulatory system.

Different Heart Rates

Kids can work on this experiment as a take-home activity, increasing their understanding of the circulatory system. The goal is to compare the heart rates of different groups, such as adults and children. Each child will need some way to check a heart rate. They can use the clay and toothpick tools they made in the pulse detector activity.

Your children or students will need to take the pulse of as many adults as they can, comparing this data to their own heart rate and the heart rate of other children. They can then discuss the differences they've found between the heart rates of children and adults and draw conclusions. This activity can help students think about how the circulatory system works. You can reinforce what they're learning with this lesson on the human circulatory system.

To learn more about the systems of the human body, kids can study the Body Systems for Elementary School chapter of our Science for Kids course.