Germs, Germs, Germs…Activities for Toddlers and Preschool

Wash, Wash, Wash your hands till there good and clean. Wash the bottoms and the tops, and the fingers in between. Your child may sing a song while washing hands, this helps children wash for the recommended 20 seconds. Hand washing is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of infection. Germs, Germs, Germs Everywhere is an interactive guide that can be use for both parents and child care providers to help toddlers and preschoolers understand germs and the importance of hand washing.  This is a remake of my original web page: Germs, Germs, Germs – An interactive guide for children and hand washing. I get lots of hits for germ curriculum so I decided to add it to the website instead of just a click through.  I hope you find what you are looking for.  We got the germ stuff here.

Start your talk or circle time about germs with a great poem.

Don’t forget to give it a creepy low voice. It will really catch their attention.

Germs, Germs everywhere

Even on your teddy bear

Germs, Germs everywhere

Even where you can’t stare

Germs, Germs in our hair

But even when they’re out of

sight, they’re are so many ways

for us to fight…Germs

A Fun Demonstration on how a Cough or Sneeze Spreads.

Take a hand full of pompom. At the end of the germ poem pretend to sneeze or cough bring the handful of pompoms up close to your mouth. Then toss the pompoms lightly from your hand. These fun little pompoms spread out just like the germs from a sneeze or cough. A great demonstration on why we need to cover our mouth when we cough or sneeze.

Questions to ask your child about germs?

“Ask your child…

Where do we find germs?

What does a germ look like?

What can germs do to us?”

Video to help deliver the message about germs.

This first video is song about the journey of a germ.  Sid the Science Kid on PBS is awesome, both of the short videos are great to help introduce information to your preschoolers and toddlers about germs.

A Great Activity for Children

“Ask your child what are some enemies of germs? Tell them the two words germs fear – Soap and Water”

If you do not want to use dirt. Here is a great alternative that will still enforce the importance that you need more than water to get rid of germs. You can use cooking oil with a little bit of cinnamon to represent the invisible germs. Dab a little on your child’s hands and have them rub it on their hands like lotion. When they are done, have them  notice how slippery their hands are. Now off to the sink, first have your child just put their hands underneath the water. Have them notice if their hand are still slippery and if there are still flecks (cinnamon) of germs on their hands. Now have your child wash with soap, tell them to be sure and make bubbles, rinse and dry. Ask your child now, how their hands feel. This is a great activity to get those reluctant and quick hand washers to do a better job.

A Book is a Great Learning Tool.

Check out these books about germs.

What Are Germs? Need more information or activities, check out these links below.

KidsHealth:  You know they can hurt you, but what are these invisible creatures? Find out in this article for kids.

Henry the Hand, Champion Hand Washer:  This site has some great video’s and songs for the kids to sing, sing, sing about handwashing.

Germy Wormy Germ Smart for Kids:  Germy Wormy Germ Smarts for Kids program for preschool, kindergarten and first grade children teaches the AAP.

Make a Pet Germ:  End all the germ talk with a fun and simple activity

You need some crayola modeling dough (white can be painted). Colored is super easy
Be sure to have pipe stem cleaners, buttons, pom poms, various pasta shapes and other materials that can be glued on later.  Have children mold their interpretation of what a germ looks like. Then have your child paint, and decorate with various materials.  When the pet germ is finished display it near the sick that your child washes their hands at. This will remind them to wash, wash, wash those hands.

Centers for Disease Control and PreventionYour Online Source for Creditable Health Information

Scientists estimate that people are not washing their hands often or well enough and may transmit up to 80% of all infections by their hands. From doorknobs to animals to food, harmful germs can live on almost everything. Hand washing may be your single most important act to help stop the spread of infection and stay healthy.
Wash Your Hands
Wash Your Hands: The Right Way
When washing hands with soap and water:
* Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
* Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
* Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” twice through to a friend.
* Rinse hands well under running water.
* Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
* Always use soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
Hands Together
This link takes you to the CDC and a video about hand washing. It give you the proper technique and information about hand washing.

More Recommended Reading:

Snot, Boogers and Picking Your Nose

Preschool Science:  Earth Science

Meet the Hermits… Adding Science to a Small Space

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