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Helping children learn healthy hygiene practices!

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Healthy hygiene practices are more important now than ever. But for children, it can be tough to understand why these practices are so necessary. Help make invisible germs conspicuous. It is important for children to understand how germs spread and how to keep them at bay. From actually spreading “germs” to learning proper handwashing, the experiments shared below can help!

 

1. Spreading Germs

For this first activity, you can use glitter to demonstrate how easily germs are spread. The goal is to emphasize the importance of washing your hands often to prevent people from passing germs to each other.

What You Need:

  • Glitter
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Sink or large bucket
  • Soap
  • Water
  • Paper towels

What to Do:

  1. Squeeze 1-2 drops of hand sanitizer in one of their hands.
  2. Holding their hands over a sink or large bucket, pour a small amount of glitter into the hand with the sanitizer.
  3. Have them rub their hands together. What happens to the glitter?
  4. Then have them shake someone else’s hand (without glitter). What happens to that person’s hand and the glitter?
  5. Once the glitter (“germs”) has spread to the other person’s hand, have the pair wash their hands with soap and water.

 

2. Repelling Germs with Soap

Do you want to see soap’s germ-fighting power in action? This activity will demonstrate how soap is a miracle fighter against germs and why children must wash their hands with soap to avoid getting sick and sharing germs.

What You Need:

  • Hand soap
  • Black pepper
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Paper towels

What to Do:

  1. Fill the bowl with water.
  2. Sprinkle a moderate amount of black pepper into the bowl of water.
  3. Have the child dip one finger into the water. What happens?
  4. Ask them to wipe off their finger with a paper towel and cover the same finger with soap.
  5. Have them stick their finger back into the water filled with black pepper. What happens? Similar to germs, the black pepper is repelled by the soap and instantly scatters in the water.

 
3. Learning Proper Handwashing

Your home can become a germ factory with children touching various surfaces, sharing, and touching others. By learning proper handwashing techniques, children can help prevent the spread of germs. This experiment is a great way to teach proper handwashing, and it’s an activity children will never forget!

What You Need:

  • Glo-Germ Gel Lotion (or any substitute)
  • Ultra-violet (UV) light 
  • Hand soap
  • Water
  • Paper towels

What to Do:

  1. Squeeze a bit of lotion into their hands. (Don’t let them know what type of lotion it is or why you’re giving it to them)
  2. After they’ve played for 30 minutes, turn off the lights and power on the UV light. What do you see? Their hands will glow, but every object they’ve touched will also glow under the light. This helps demonstrate how easily germs are spread.
  3. To get rid of the lotion on their hands, have them wash their hands with soap and water.
  4. Once finished, power on the UV light again to see how well they washed off the lotion. This is the perfect opportunity to demonstrate when and how to wash your hands to prevent germs from spreading.


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