One of my favourite of Kerry’s experiments is her play doh brain, so when we found an old pack of play doh in the cupboard I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try it. First we found out some fun facts and then set about making a model brain.
Fun Brain Facts
Did you know that our brains use 20% of the body’s energy, but only make up about 2% of it’s weight?
Our brain is surrounded by a liquid called cerebrospinal fluid which acts like a cushion in case we bang our heads and also helps keep infections out.
The human skull is made up of 22 bones joined together.
How to make a play dough brain model
This is not to scale and obviously the colours are not representative of an actual brain. Our model is really just to show the distinct areas of the Human Brain.
I rolled each colour play dough into a sausage shape and wound it around itself to represent the ridges and grooves seen in the brain.
The outer part of the brain is called the Cerebrum, which is divided into two hemispheres, by a central fissure. Each Hemisphere is split into the 4 lobes, as shown above. Under the Cerebrum are the Cerebellum and the Brain Stem.
The brain can be divided up into six main areas:
The frontal lobe
- reasoning, planning, parts of speech and movement, emotions, and problem-solving
The Parietal lobe
- Senses touch, pressure, temperature and pain.
The Occipital lobe
- Controls vision
The Temporal lobe
- Recognition of hearing and memory
- Controls and coordinates movements of the muscles
The Brain stem – not shown
- In charge of keeping the automatic systems of your body working, like breathing!
Can you think of anything else we could use to make a model brain?
More Human Body Science Experiments
We had lots of fun making and testing recipes for fake blood.
Ask a child to get a friend to draw around themselves and add in body parts or a skeleton.
If you’ve ever wondered how your lungs work, our lung model is a great demonstration.