All kids need to learn how their bodies work and how to take care of them. Perhaps no part is more important than the heart and circulatory system. Use these hands-on circulatory system activities to teach anatomy or during American Heart Health month every February. They’ll help kids learn how important it is to take care of their one and only heart!

1. Reveal the circulatory system

Student using DIY invisible ink to reveal a hidden drawing of the circulatory system

This is such a cool way to introduce the circulatory system to kids! Make DIY invisible ink using supplies from your kitchen and draw a model of the system. Then, let kids reveal it like magic, helping them envision what lies beneath their skin.

Learn more: Taming Little Monsters

2. Mold a Play-Doh circulatory system

Printout of the circulatory system with a student making a model of the system from Play-Doh

Draw an outline of the human body, then grab some red and blue Play-Doh to make arteries, veins, and the heart itself.

Learn more: Pinay Homeschool

3. Watch a kid-friendly circulatory system video

YouTube has lots of videos that can help kids understand their hearts, blood vessels, and more. We like this one, from TED-Ed, which has free accompanying teacher materials.

4. Read a heart-healthy book

Collage of books about the heart and circulatory system

Check the library or buy one of these smart books for pre-K and elementary age kids:

5. Make a heart house

Printable heart model shown as a house (Circulatory System Activities)

This cute printable compares the chambers of the heart to the rooms of the house. It’s an analogy little minds will easily understand.

Learn more: Spell Out Loud

6. Play the circulatory system game

Circulatory system game for kids with model human body and heart spinner (Circulatory System Activities)

This free printable PDF game from Ellen McHenry is one of the most popular circulatory system activities around. Create a life-sized body model, and spin your way around the system!

Learn more: The Fantastic Five

7. Turn a plastic bag into an inflatable heart

Plastic bag colored red, with veins and arteries made from pipe cleaners and plastic straws (Circulatory System Activities)

Make a simple heart model from a plastic bag, and use the straws to breathe into it and make it “beat” in rhythm.

Learn more: Kids Activities

8. Scoop water, and try to beat the clock

Young student scooping water from one plastic container to another (Circulatory System Activities)

The heart pumps about 1.3 gallons per minute. Think you can keep up? Fill a container with water, then set a timer. Use a small cup to scoop water into another container as fast as you can. Can you beat your own heart?

Learn more: Primary Theme Park

9. Craft a simple stethoscope

Simple stethoscope for kids made from a plastic funnel and cardboard tube

Kids know that doctors use stethoscopes to listen to their heart. Make a simple version from a cardboard tube and plastic funnel so kids can try it on their own.

Learn more: Science Sparks

10. See your pulse using a marshmallow

Student's arm with a marshmallow with a toothpick in it resting on her wrist

Now that they’ve heard their heart, try this idea to see it in action. Push a toothpick into a marshmallow and set it on your upturned wrist. Hold very still and you should see the toothpick bounce up and down along with your pulse!

Learn more: SAParksandRec/YouTube

11. Build a functioning heart pump

Child's hand pumping a heart model made from plastic bottles and drinking straws (Circulatory System Activities)

Now it’s time to learn how the heart does its job. Use plastic bottles and drinking straws to make a working model that actually pumps “blood” from one chamber to the next.

Learn more: STEAM Powered Family

12. Tie yarn to learn about veins and arteries

Blue, red, and white yarn tied together in various combinations on a green background

The heart works with the veins, arteries, and capillaries to move blood around the body. Tie different colors of yarn together to represent the three and see how they all function together.

Learn more: The Fantastic Five

13. Engineer a complete circulatory system

Model of the circulatory system using plastic tubing, balloons, and cups

Put it all together with this functioning circulatory system model. Get step-by-step instructions at the link.

Learn more: Do Science

14. Fill a bottle with a blood model

Plastic bottle filled with red and white candies and corn syrup

Take a closer look at blood and learn about the different types of cells, platelets, and the plasma that they all float around in. Use your favorite candies to represent each in this easy model.

Learn more: My Joy-Filled Life

15. Explore different blood types with food coloring

Child mixing food coloring in paint trays with a chart of blood types (Circulatory System Activities)

Learning about blood types? This clever experiment with food coloring helps kids learn which types are compatible with each other. If the dyes stay the same color when mixed, the types are compatible. If they change color, then they’re not.

Learn more: Our Journey Westward

16. Test your blood type knowledge

Screenshot from online blood typing game

In this interactive online game, kids “draw blood” from a patient, then run tests to find the blood type and perform a life-saving transfusion. You can take a tutorial first to learn how it all works.

Learn more: The Blood Typing Game

17. Hold a stuffed animal “blood drive”

Stuffed animals with labels saying A, B, AB, and O (Circulatory System Activities)

This might be the cutest of all the circulatory system activities! Gather up some stuffies, assign them “blood types,” then hold a blood drive! Kids learn about blood types and the importance of being willing to donate blood.

Learn more: Highhill Education

18. Learn about the danger of narrowed veins and arteries

Two clear pipes with water running through them; one pipe is clogged with pink Play-Doh

We talk a lot about “healthy foods,” but what makes some foods bad for your heart? Learn about cholesterol and its effects on veins and arteries with this effective demo.

Learn more: Teach Engineering

19. Exercise to keep your heart healthy

Tic-tac-toe game of exercises like toe touches and jumping jacks (Circulatory System Activities)

A healthy heart needs exercise too. Create a tic-tac-toe board with the free printables at the link, then toss a bean bag (bonus points for making heart-shaped ones!) to see which exercise you’ll do next.

Learn more: Make and Takes

20. Host a Jump Rope for Heart event

Hula hoops laid on the floor with jump ropes and numbered cones in each (Circulatory System Activities)

The American Heart Association created Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart to raise awareness of the importance of heart health for kids. Students have a chance to earn money to support cardiovascular research too.

Learn more: The PE Specialist

Love these circulatory system activities? Check out 26 Interactive Ways to Teach Kids the Anatomy of the Human Body.

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20 Hands-On Heart and Circulatory System Activities For Kids