Science activities about blood

Science activities about blood

Did you know blood makes up around 7% of the weight of a human body and the average adult has 5 litres flowing around their body? This fun collection of science activities about blood is great for learning about circulation and the clever cells and components of our blood!

Blood travels around the body in a massive network of arteries and veins transporting oxygen and nutrients. It also removes waste, contains cells that fight infection and helps with temperature regulation.

There are three types of blood vessels each with a different function

Arteries – carry blood away from the heart. These have thicker, more elastic walls than veins as blood is pumped from the heart at high pressure.

Capillaries – these branch from arteries and carry the blood very close to cells so food and oxygen can be transported into cells and waste produces removed. Capillaries have very thin walls so substances can diffuse easily.

Veins – carry blood back to the heart. Veins contain valves to help keep blood flowing in the right direction.

simple vector diagram of the human circulatory system
The Human Circulatory System.

Fun ideas for learning about blood

What is blood?

Blood contains:

red blood cells – carry oxygen around the body

white blood cells – destroy pathogens and make antibodies

platelets – help blood to clot

plasma – a straw coloured liquid that carries everything in the blood, not just red and white blood cells, but also nutrients, waste products, hormones and antibodies.

What’s inside blood?

One way to learn about the different components of blood is to make a mini blood bath.

We used red water beads for red blood cells, table tennis balls for white blood cells and white pompoms for platelets. You can clearly see how many red blood cells there are compared to white blood cells and platelets.

creepy blood bath for Halloween - learn about the different parts of blood with this gory activity

Make a tasty blood cocktail

Another slightly less creepy way to learn about blood is to make a blood cocktail.

This activity is taken out of my book GROSS Science Experiments, but includes pomegranate seeds for red blood cells, soda water for plasma and pineapple for red blood cells.

Image of a girl pulling an ick face holding a red blood cell cocktail containing soda water, pomegranate and pineapple

Build a pumping heart model

Blood is pumped around the body by the heart. This simple pumping heart model shows how it works.

pumping heart model made with a jar, straw and balloon

Make a Scab

When skin become damaged, platelets stick together to form a thick and sticky clot. This becomes what we call a scab, it helps prevent micro-organisms and toxins getting into the bloodstream.

You can make jelly scabs to learn about this process. The jelly thicks and sets just like a scab!

Jelly scab for learning about blood and blood clotting

Pretend blood

Another way to learn about clotting is to make pretend blood. One of these recipes will thicken up and one won’t!

image of pretend blood in a conical flask as part pf an activity for learning about blood

Red Blood Cell Cakes

Red blood cells are shaped like indented flattened disks ( like a doughnut with no hole ) and contain haemoglobin which transports oxygen around the body.

Red blood cells inside an artery, vein. Flow of blood inside a living organism. Scientific and medical concept. Transfer of important elements in the blood to protect the body, 3d illustration

These red blood cell cupcakes show the unqiue shape of red blood cells. Every drop of blood contains millions of red blood cells!! The biconcave disc shape gives red blood cells a large surface area for absorbing oxygen.

red blood cell cupcakes
Image and activity taken from GROSS Science Experiments

More blood and heart themed science activities

This blood model in a bottle is great from My Joy Filled Life.

Make a very basic stethoscope to hear a heart beating.

Learn about the inspiring Marie M. Daly and her work on the circulatory system.

Or, try one of my other science activities for learning about the human body.

Collage of blood and heart themed science activities for kids. Make red blood cell cupcakes, a pumping heart model, jelly scabs and more!
Science activities for learning about blood

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