“Germs Make Me Sick” by Melvin Berger
“The Germ Patrol” by Neil Shulman, MD, Todd Stolp, MD, and Robin Voss
We used a week to talk to the children about cleanliness. First we talked about keeping our bodies clean. We filled our discovery table with sudsy water an d let the children wash the dolls in our classroom. We have little sample size shampoos and conditioners and lots of towels!
Later that week, we talked about keeping our homes clean. We talked about chores the children did at their homes and chores that they see their parents do. We then had squirt bottles with water and towels out for them to “clean” the school. The children loved it!
I read the story Those Mean and Nasty, Dirty, Downright Disgusting but Invisible Germs and discuss the importance of washing hands. Then I secretly put Vaseline on one of my hands and coat it with either glitter or coffee grounds and then shake hands with all the kids and they shake each others hands, etc. It is a great way for them to SEE how the germs get spread around.
An idea to help children understand how germs can spread is to apply hand cream to each child (I like to give hand cream to one child and let them give it to the next child. The last child gets to squeeze the hand cream on my hand) sneeze or cough (just pretending) into your hand using glitter. Shake one child’s hand have them go around the circle shaking the next person’s hand. Shows how germs spread. Makes it easier for them to understand why we want them to sneeze or cough into their elbows. (sharing, gross motor, spreading of germs, color.)
This is a spin on using glitter to represent germs on your hands. I learned this from a co-worker.
In circle I first take out a bottle of bubbles and pretend to cough. The bubbles represent the germs flying around the air from not covering your mouth.
Then I will sneeze covering my mouth with my hand. When I remove my hand I will have a glob of green glitter in the palm of my hand. I will touch the children putting my “germs” on their hand or arm. Then I will take out a bowl of warm water that I had waiting and “wash” my hands in a common manner that I tend to see the class doing. (quickly passing hands through the water or applying soap & rinsing without making bubbles) The germs are still there. Then I wash my hands well with soap and explain that you need to dry your hands too to remove any germs that are still hanging on.
I usually encourage the children to sing their “abc’s” or the song “Happy Birthday” but I like the songs that I have seen posted.