Making a Model Lung

Science Fun: How Lungs Work

This model demonstrates how lungs work. Air is taken in through the mouth and nose, passes down the windpipe and into our lungs. The straw represents the wind pipe. The diaphragm at the bottom of our chest moves down to create more space. As we breathe out the diaphragm raises again. The knotted balloon on the bottom of bottle represents the diaphragm and the balloon inside the container represents the lung.

You Will Need:

  • A plastic bottle
  • A straw
  • An elastic band
  • Scissors
  • 2 balloons (one small eater balloon size and one large party size balloon)
  • Play dough

What to Do:

1. Carefully cut off bottom of plastic bottle for the kids.

2. Tie a knot in one end of the larger balloon and cut off the fat end.

3. Stretch the balloon around the bottom of the plastic bottle. This balloon is the diaphragm.

4.  Put a straw in the neck of the small balloon and secure tightly with the elastic band but not so much that you crush the straw. The air must flow through, so test it with a little blow through the straw to see if the balloon inflates. The straw is the wind pipe.

5. Put the straw and the balloon into the neck of the bottle and secure with the play dough to make a seal around the bottle – make sure that again, you don’t crush the straw.


Punch a hole carefully in the bottle top without stabbing yourself. Put straw with balloon attached through hole of the cap.

6. Push up on the large balloon or pull down the knot of the ballon at the bottom as in our video (the diaphragm) and watch the small balloon (the lung) contract.  Release the diaphragm and watch the lung expand.


How to Make Model Lung Video by Stephanie Felzenberg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: