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.)
To add to an idea I saw earlier with the spray bottle to show how germs spread, add green food coloring to the water and squirt onto white paper for kids to see where the germs go. Next, take a tissue and cover to spray nozzle and sneeze again, this time show the kids that when they cover their mouths, the germs go on the tissue instead of all over.
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.
This idea is to add on to the “spreading the germs idea.” After our discussion and a story on germs. I had the children put on their “special germ glasses” Mix multi color glitter with clear hair gel, this makes the “germs” stick to them better. Have the children see how germs are spread by using handshakes high fives or the food from the kitchen area (which children sometimes put in their mouths. Also show them that a paper towel does not take the germs off, they must use soap! When everyone has the idea and its time to wash with soap, have the children take off their special germ glasses, this will avoid the children being grossed out about the germs for the rest of the day, then you can remind them that because the glasses are off, its just glitter!!!!!!!!