Spread some glitter one child’s hands, and make sure it sticks well. Let’s pretend that the bits of glitter are germs (although germs are very much smaller). Shake hands with two people, then they shake with two more people etc. Now how many people have pretend germs on their hands? If someone has a cold, and those are cold germs, it is very possible that you will catch the cold now
So how do we stop spreading germs from one person to another? The best thing we can do is to wash our hands with warm water and soap, very often. Why do you think that would help? Have the children wash the glitter off, and wash until all the glitter is gone. Goodbye, germs!
Demonstrate the correct way to blow your nose with a tissue, and dispose of it. Have everyone practice.
Pretend to sneeze while holding a spray bottle of water. When you sneeze, spray the water into the air, and show the children that a sneeze (plus germs) could be sprayed a great distance. Show how to sneeze into your arm, or use a tissue.
Germs are very small beings that live everywhere in our world. They are so small we can’t even see them with our magnifiers. Some names for germs are bacteria, viruses and microbes. There are good germs that help us and bad germs that can make us sick if they get into our body. We don’t need to worry about them, because there are many more good germs than bad germs, and there are lots of ways we can avoid the bad ones.
Sometimes people wipe their nose on their sleeve when they have a cold and can’t find a tissue. Do you think this is a good idea? Why? What could they do instead?
Families and teachers tell us to wash hands after using the toilet at home and when we go out. Do you think this is important? Why? How about before eating? Can you think of other times when it would be a good idea to wash?
Sometimes germs like to get into our bodies when we get a cut of a scrape. How can we prevent this? (Washing, antibiotic cream, Band-Aids)
Sometimes, when a virus or bacteria makes us sick, we go to the doctor. If the doctor thinks that a bacteria made us sick, then we might have to take a medicine called an antibiotic that kills bacteria. There are not many medicines that kill viruses, though. Some scientists work hard in their laboratories to create a medicine to kill viruses. When you grow up, it’s possible that you might be one of those scientists.
Create a science laboratory scenario, with “lab equipment”, white coats, magnifiers etc. Have the children create wonderful medicine that will help everyone in the world, and celebrate their success.
Play “Captain Germcatcher”, the amazing germ chasing hero. She/he goes around the world handing out tissues and soap, and teaching people how to avoid getting sick.
Make a picture of what you think a germ might look like if it grew as big as a cat. Scary? Cute? Tell us about it.
Create a sign together and decorate it, describing how to wash hands correctly. Hang it over the sink, and read it often. Add photos of the children washing hands.
Packs and Printables:
Germs Make Me Sick, Melvin Berger
Germs Are Not for Sharing, Elizabeth Verdick
Germ Stories, Arthur Kornberg
The Magic School Bus Inside Ralphie: A Book About Germs, Joanna Cole
Germs, Judy Oetting
Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Great Big Book about Germs, Bill Nye
Achoo! The Most Interesting Book You’ll Ever Ready About Gerns, Trudee Romanek
Germ Zappers, Mic Rolph