To demonstrate how germs spread, during circle time I talk to the children about how germs are so small we cannot see them. Then, I use pixie dust (the really fine glitter) to sprinkle on one child’s hand to represent germs. Then I have that child shake another child’s hand and keep repeating this same process throughout the circle time. By the end of circle time the “germs” have spread to everyone!
And this is why we wash our hands!
At Circle time we put glitter on all the kids hands and told them that the glitter represented the germs. Then we took them into the bathroom and we all washed our germs off.
Create your own little germs. Take a bunch of pom pons and glue 2 eyes on each pom pon to make it look like a little face. While teaching about how germs are spread, take the little pom pons in your hand but kind of hide them so the children don’t know that the “germs” are in your hand. While you are talking pretend to sneeze and throw the “germs” on the children. This shows how the germs fly when you sneeze without covering your mouth. The children love this!
My class “cultured” germs in our class. First we talked about what germs like to eat- protein and carbohydrates; what kind of environment they like best (warm, dark, and damp) and how we could find them. We made Petri dishes:12 foil muffin tin liners,12 plastic sandwich bags, 1 packet of unflavored gelatin, 1/2 c. sugar, 1c. water. Place 1T.water and gelatin in a heat resistant spouted measuring cup and let gelatin soften. Meanwhile bring the rest of the water and the sugar to a boil. Stir into the softened gelatin and then pour equal amounts into the tins. Place into plastic bags. Allow to cool and gel. Dampen 12 Q-tips and choose 12 surfaces to collect germs from. Gently rub your “germy” Q-tip over the surface of the gelatin. Re-close bag and place in a dark, warm place. Check to see what’s happened to each of your cultures over the next week. Really cool for kids, usually a bit disturbing to adults!
When we were discussing germs, I covered a straw with glue and rolled it in glitter. On the carpet, I told the class that I had not been feeling well, and pretended to sneeze in the straw. I showed them all of the germs that just went on my straw and we discussed covering our mouths.
We discussed how germs can be passed on your hands if you not wash them after you sneeze, or cough. I handed one of the students my straw. After he handed it back to me I told him to look at his hand. The glitter had rubbed off. I told him he had my giggle germs, and tickled him. We passed the straw around the class and I tickled each child. An surprise bonus was the they had to wash their hands pretty thoroughly to remove the glitter so it was good practice.
Materials: glow in the dark paint (neon) and black light
Put paint in child’s hands and have them rub their hand together (inside & out. Next turn out the lights and use the black light. There hands will glow! Tell them “It is germs. Now we are going to wash our hands to get rid of the germs.” Wash hands, then turn out the lights. They can see where they missed the germs.