There’s nothing like following a piece of food through the entire digestive system. This digestive system maze is a hands-on activity that your kids are sure to remember the next time they eat.
Digestive System Maze
I’ve tried many activities to get my kids knowledgeable about their digestive systems but too many of them end up high on the gross factor.
I don’t want to touch anything that is remotely poop like. I did my time as a diaper changer.
This activity isn’t wholly poop free – but at least the poop is just printed on paper.
The digestive system maze walks a piece of food through the entire digestive system without the need to touch anything that feels or smells like poop. But I think the activity will still be memorable to your kids.
How to Set Up the Digestive System Maze
The digestive system maze is meant to be two-sided – but you don’t need to print it that way. In fact, the more bulk you have, the better the maze will stand up to use.
Start by printing out both pages of the maze and place them back to back.
Then you can either laminate them or place them in a sheet protector.
Alternately, if you don’t want to laminate or use a sheet protector, you can print them on cardstock and glue the two sides together.
Now all you need to do is set up the magnet.
There are two icons that come with the set – a watermelon and a piece of poop. Glue these on opposite sides of a magnet.
Now all you have to do if hand the maze over to your kids!
P.S. Make sure to flip the magnet to the poop size when you flip the maze over.
Don’t want to use magnets?
I get it – magnets aren’t the safest around kids. Espcially younger kids who still put everything in their mouths,
Heck, my 9 year old still tends to put things in his mouth that he’s not supposed to. And while I doubt he would accidentally swallow a magnet, I don’t take my chances.
This maze can be done many other ways.
- Laminate (or use a sheet protector) and solve using a dry erase marker.
- Trace with a finger
- Glue the watermelon and poop to alternate sizes of a small piece of wood or a glass gem. Then use the wood as a marker to travel through the digestive system maze.
How to Use the Digestive System Maze
The maze is designed to start at the mouth with the watermelon. Then you follow the digestive tract down the trachea and into the stomach (yes, the stomach goes behind the liver. Very tricky!).
Your watermelon might decide to hang out in the stomach for a little while – soak in the digestive juices. That will be up to your child! (You might have to suggest it to them).
At the bottom of the stomach, the maze flips to the other side as the food is going to enter the intestines.
When you flip over your page, make sure to flip the watermelon to poop.
Now technically the food isn’t poop (as we think of it) at this point. The digestive juice soaked food still has a lot of liquid. The intestines soak that liquid up and the food becomes more and more poop like as it travels through the system.
However, I wasn’t able to make a tile that progressively went from watermelon to poop and I wanted to keep it simple.
But depending on the age and readiness of your child, please explain that there is not a magical transformation from food to poop. It happens progressively.
On the alternate side of the maze, follow the intestines until you make it to the large intestine. This is the last part of the maze.
Follow the large intestine up and around the small intestines until you get the poop to the anus.
Now, it’s totally up to you how much you want to emphasize the end of the maze.
Fart jokes are acceptable here if you need to stall.
But you’ll have to decide your comfort level there.
You have now followed a piece of food through the entire digestive system. Congrats!