Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Odd Squad
  • Peg + Cat
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Martha Speaks
  • WordGirl
  • Thomas & Friends
  • Arthur
  • Sesame Street
  • The Electric Company
  • Cyberchase
  • Between the Lions
  • Mama Mirabelle
  • Caillou
  • Chuck Vanderchuck
  • Oh Noah
  • Fetch!
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Mister Rogers
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • SciGirls
  • Wilson & Ditch
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM

Heart to Heart

Build your own stethoscope and try different ways to measure how your family's heart rates change with exercise!

heart to heart


  • 18 in. of vinyl tubing (from a hardware store)
  • 1 empty plastic water or soda bottle
  • scissors
  • duct tape
  • stopwatch or clock with a second hand
  • paper and pencil
  • rubbing alcohol
  • cotton balls


  1. Measure your resting heart rate with the pulse method first by placing an index and middle finger on the inside of your wrist, beneath the palm of your hand, and pressing down firmly. Count the number of beats for 10 seconds and multiply this by 6 to get the number of beats per minute (bpm) and record. For better results, sit quietly for a few minutes before taking your measurement.
  2. Together, make a stethoscope by cutting off the bottom third of a water or soda bottle and inserting the vinyl tubing into the mouth of the bottle. Secure it with duct tape. Place the stethoscope on your chest and move it around to find the spot where the heart beats the loudest. Take turns listening and recording each family member’s resting heart rate.
  3. How do the resting heart rates from these two methods compare? If you are physically able, try running in place for 1 min. and check your heart rate again. What happens?

You May Also Like

Produced by: Funding is provided by:
TPT Logo   National Science Foundation logo L'Oreal For Girls in Science Northrup Grumman Foundation logo

What's this?

PBS Parents Picks

  1. Thai Shrimp Pizza image

    Thai Shrimp Pizza

    Tonight, shake things up with this easy recipe for Thai Shrimp Pizza. It's savory, sweet and oh-so-good!

  2. Homemade Lacing Cards  image

    Homemade Lacing Cards

    These lacing cards help kids perfect their pincer grip which they'll need to grasp a pencil later on.

  3. From Our Sponsor image

    From Our Sponsor

    Learn more about Mighties™ kiwi, the easy-to-eat, nutrient-rich healthy snack.

PBS Parents Newsletter

Find activities, parenting tips, games from your child's favorite PBS KIDS programs and more.