Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sponge-stamped Lungs “Art”

What’s that they say about the best laid plans? Well, whatever it is, it applies to this activity, which did not go quite as I had planned. Regardless, the end result was fantastic and my son still learned a lot.

First, we talked about lungs and read Breathe In, Breathe Out: Learning About Your Lungs. The book provided the right level of detail, without being too complicated, for my son to understand what lungs do, what they’re made of, and why they’re so important.

Then, we painted a pair of lungs that I’d made (download a PDF here). Initially, we tried imprinting the image of bubbles onto our lung pages. Unfortunately, the prints were nearly invisible. (sigh) Time for “Plan B.” 

I grabbed a household sponge and we used it as a stamp with some watered-down red tempera paint. The sponge left a wonderful texture on the lungs.

Afterwards, my son dabbed his finger in blue paint to add the air sacs (alveoli) at the end of the bronchioles.

Since we had to let the lungs dry and the evening was jam-packed, we set the activity aside until the next day.

When we returned, our painted lungs were ready to cut out. Once this was done, my son colored and cut out the windpipe, and then glued all the pieces to posterboard.

Lastly, he added labels for the different parts, referring to a drawing in Nettleton’s book. I had to smile later when I overheard my son explain to his little brother what the picture was. “You have lungs too!” he said enthusiastically.


  1. this is great, thank you for sharing.

  2. Wow, my son would love this! What a cool way to illustrate lungs to children!

  3. I love this idea. Have you seen our 'build a fake lung investigation?'

    Thanks for linking to Science Sparks

  4. Ooooh how awesome!! I was just barely having a discussion with my boys about how different things affect our lungs. This is PERFECT to illustrate it to my kids. Thank you again for another amazing idea!

  5. It looks like a great illustration of lungs!

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

  6. Thank you for sharing this. I am going to use it with my homeschool co-op class!

  7. I love this idea. Thanks for sharing.