Fake Lung Experiment

The lungs are an essential organ to all Mammals. It is the organ that allows for gaseous exchange to ensure we get the most important product Oxygen into our bodies and also exhale the waste products. Today we’re going to find our how lungs work by making a fake lung.

Sometimes it is hard for kids to understand how body parts works and being able to label a diagram is not enough.

What you will need

  • A plastic bottle
  • A straw
  • An elastic band
  • Scissors
  • 2 balloons
  • Playdough

1. Remove the bottom of your bottle

2. Tie a knot in one end of a balloon and snip of the fat end

3. Stretch this end around the bottom of your plastic bottle

4.  Put a straw in the neck of the other balloon and secure tightly with the elastic band but not so that you crush the straw.The air must flow through so test it with a little bow through the straw to see if the balloon inflates.

5. Put the straw and the ballon into the neck of the bottle and secure with the playdough making a seal around the bottle – make sure that again, you don’t crush straw.

Your lung is finish and now for the action

How lungs work

Hold the bottle and pull the knot of the ballon at the bottom and watch what happens?

You should find that the balloon inside the bottle inflates, and that as you let go it deflates.

The science bit.

As the knotted ballon is pulled it creates more space inside the bottle. Air then comes down the straw and fills the balloon with some air to fill the space! When you let go of the knot the space no longer exist, so the air from the balloon is expelled and deflates.

This demonstrates how our lungs work. Air is taken in through the mouth and nose, passes down the windpipe and into our lungs. The diaphragm at the bottom of our chest moves down dot create more space. As we breath out the diaphragm raises again. The knotted balloon represents the diaphragm and balloon inside the container the lung!

What do you think of our fake lung experiment?


Author: Emma Vanstone

Science Sparks, is a site dedicated to making Science fun for kids. I’d love you to follow me on my Google Profile+.

Share This Post On


    • I know how you feel.They could have chose a less effective colour.

      Post a Reply
  1. I have made this with my oldest son! It’s really neat; I plan to do it with all my kids when we study anatomy!

    Post a Reply
    • I’m so glad you liked it!

      Post a Reply
  2. What a great demonstration!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having an amazing week!

    Post a Reply
  3. That is seriously impressive. My get my husband to make one with our 8 yr old.

    Post a Reply
  4. This is excellent, thank you. My son and I have just started exploring science at home and this site is wonderful. I’m so glad you link up to Sharing Saturday, thank you.

    Post a Reply
  5. Great way to teach science! Thanks for linking up to Kids Co-op.

    Post a Reply
  6. So Cool! This is the first time I’ve understood how a lung works. Thank you for giving me my weekly science lesson :) Nominated you for a MAD award, btw. Thanks for sharing on Kids Get Crafty! ~Alissa and Maggy

    Post a Reply
  7. I am new to your site and really like it! I pinned the how to make a lung idea to my learning ideas board – what a great idea…can be used in so many ways! Thank you!

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you for pinning. xx

      Post a Reply
  8. I just wanted to stop by to tell you that this is so awesome it is being featured this week on the The Sunday Showcase Have a wonderful week-

    Aimee & Bern

    Post a Reply
    • Thank you so much. xx

      Post a Reply
  9. This is a great idea! And it would work well to show the effects of smoking too. Use a wide straw (like one from McDonald’s) to fill the lung, then feel the difference in how fast or easily the lung fills using a narrow straw (like a tiny one for stirring coffee). I will for sure be doing this demo with kids! Thanks!

    Post a Reply
    • Fab. I’m glad you liked it.

      Post a Reply
  10. You have to use a very sturdy water bottle for this project. My son and I went through many balloons trying to make it fit over a standard water bottle…..we ended up using a Snapple drink bottle because the plastic is stronger.

    Post a Reply
  11. This looks great! We’ll be trying it this year when we learn about the respiratory system in our homeschool! Thanks for sharing!
    Missy recently posted…Sunshine Award Nomination!My Profile

    Post a Reply
  12. I’m making this for a science project and I hope that I do it right!How clever!It must have taken a while to think of that.GREAT IDEA!

    Post a Reply
  13. It is so nise but we have two lungs.but you have shown only one.

    Post a Reply
  14. Great demonstration, I just wanted to correct the following statement:

    “This demonstrates how our lungs work. Air is taken in through the mouth and nose, passes down the windpipe and into our lungs. The diaphragm at the bottom of our chest moves down dot create more space.”

    The diaphragm is the muscle that makes breathing happen. As it contracts and spreads flat in the abdomen, it creates a vacuum that draws air into the body. This model demonstrates how a vacuum works.

    Post a Reply
  15. This is so great. I teach flute and was looking for some kind of demo – this is perfect – if I can get mine to work as well as yours does :)

    Post a Reply


  1. Science Saturday - Respiratory System - The Home School Scientist - [...] science-sparks.com via Marci on [...]
  2. Science for kids - science play | Science Sparks - [...] is for balloon - we have lots of fun balloon experiments, how about making a fake lung? or a hover [...]
  3. Fake Lung Experiment : Teach.Learn.Imagine. - [...] Sparks shows an experiment to create a fake lung to learn how ours [...]
  4. Le corps humain – 5 sens | chdecole - [...] http://www.science-sparks.com/2012/04/13/breathing-making-a-fake-lung/ (respiration) [...]
  5. Learning About Our Bodies | Suzy Homeschooler - […] the way our chest rose and fall when we took deep breaths. I thought about making this really cool …
  6. Lekker lag L-week | Kieswetter Klaskamer - […] wou ek ‘n eksperiment doen om te kyk hoe werk ‘n long. Dit was ook online. Ons het hierdie …
  7. Doctor Role Play with a Science Twist - […] Learn all about your lungs with this fake lung experiment. […]
  8. Human Body {A to Z Unit Studies} - […] Build a lung | Science Sparks […]
  9. Air pressure experiments for kids | Science Sparks - […] Find out how your lungs work with this fun fake lung activity. […]
  10. Human Body Activities for Kids - I Can Teach My Child! - […] Make a model of the human lung  ::  Science Sparks […]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge