Many children enjoy "playing doctor" and diagnosing their family, friends or stuffed animals with delightfully terrible diseases before making them "all better." You can encourage this creative play by building a toy stethoscope that can actually work. Use simple materials to build a stethoscope that can really allow the child to hear another person's, or their own, heartbeat. This educational toy can teach a child to be in tune with the inner workings of the human body.
Fit small funnels into each end of a piece of plastic tubing.
Tape around the base of the funnels with duct tape to securely hold the funnels in place.
Blow up a balloon to encourage the material to stretch. Let the air out of the balloon.
Cut off 3 inches (7.5 cm) from the open end of the balloon. Stretch the balloon over the open end of one of the funnels. Secure the balloon covering by taping it around the edges to the funnel.
Place the funnel with the balloon covering on someone's chest, near the heart. Listen through the other funnel to hear the heartbeat.
Explore how the heartbeat changes after periods of rest and periods of activity, using a timer to measure the different rates.