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One of my latest projects that I’ve released is a new book titled The Human Body Activity Book for Kids: Hands-On Fun for Grades K-3.
This book includes more than 30 on-the-page activities and hands-on experiments that will get kids excited to learn about their amazing bodies.
Featuring tons of cool facts and colorful drawings, this in-depth exploration of the human body for kids is a fantastic educational aid for parents and teachers.
In this post I’m sharing one of the hands-on experiments from the book that teaches kids how germs spread, and the importance of washing hands with soap (not just water) .
Note: You’ll find more resources for learning about the human body on my Human Body Unit Study page.
What are germs?
Germs is an informal word used to refer to any type of microorganism (an organism too small to be seen with the naked eye), especially ones that can cause illness. Common germs include certain harmful bacteria and viruses.
Since we can’t see germs without a microscope, this hands-on activity helps kids visualize germs on their hands and see how they can easily spread from person to person.
How germs spread, and why it is important to wash hands with soap
For this activity, you will need the following:
- Access to a sink
- Soap and water
- Optional: lotion
- Optional: sheet of white paper
Ask your child to use water or lotion to get their hands damp. Note that the hands should be damp but not soaking wet.
Then sprinkle a healthy amount of glitter onto your child’s palms and have your child rub their palms together. Explain that the glitter represents germs, and your child’s hands are now covered in germs.
I asked my daughter to play this role for me. She soon had her hands covered in red glitter “germs.”
Then I called her brother in to join us. My daughter gave her brother a very hearty handshake.
(If you don’t have a second person to pass the “germs” on to you, your child can also just place their palms onto a white sheet of paper and observe how many “germs” are left behind when they remove their hands.)
Then we looked at my son’s hands to see that his hands were now covered in “germs” as well. At this point, he was kind of mad but also kind of laughing. He didn’t particularly like being “infected” by his sister!
Then I asked my kids to go into the bathroom and wash their hands with water only (no soap).
Despite rinsing well, my daughter still had some “germs” on her hands. We learned that washing with water alone doesn’t get hands very clean.
Then I asked my kids to wash their hands again, but this time to use soap.
Washing with soap and water, all of the “germs” easily came off.
Then we talked about how easily germs can spread from person to person, and why washing our hands with soap is so important. Washing with water alone just doesn’t do the job! Only by washing with soap was it easy to get all the “germs” off their hands.
If you liked this activity. . .
This activity is just one many hands-on learning ideas included in The Human Body Activity Book for Kids: Hands-On Fun for Grades K-3. This fun book for kids features:
- The complete guide to anatomy for kids: Teach kids what they’re made of with informative, illustrated chapters broken down by body system.
- Activities galore: Over 30 exciting activities–including connect-the-dots, crosswords, and off-the-page experiments–that keep lessons engaging.
- Tons of fun facts: Did you know hair grows slower at night and that you’re taller in the morning than the evening? Cool trivia makes kids want to learn more.
More Human Body Learning Resources
More Human Body posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Human Body Printables Bundle
- Human Body Activity: Temperature receptors in the skin
- Introducing the five senses
- Books about the five senses
You’ll find more resources for learning about the human body on my Human Body Pinterest board.
Follow Katie @ Gift of Curiosity’s board Unit Ideas: Human Body on Pinterest.
This is such a fantastic activity. I’m planning on doing it with my students next week.