Being at home together gives you the opportunity to explore healthy choices, including all the ways you can be a germ buster! These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and video connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
WASH YOUR HANDS:
Check out these tips from the CDC for healthy handwashing for the entire family!
Check out https://washyourlyrics.com/ where you enter the title of the song and get a cool, ready-made poster with lyrics for washing your hands! Bonus — this site was created by a 17 year old!!!
ART EXTENSION: As a family, decide what songs or poems you want to use to make sure that you are washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. Happy Birthday to You (sung twice) is a traditional way to make sure you are using soap and scrubbing long enough. But what other songs can you think of?
For this activity, you will need crayons or markers, paper, and tape.
Once you have decided on your song, write down the words on a piece of paper, decorate it with crayons or markers, and post it by the bathroom mirror. You can have a different song for every sink in the house. Take a picture of your creation and share it with us @discoverymuse on social media!
READ: Germs, Germs, Germs by Bobbi Katz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bqozl-9WYgM
DO: Follow along with this fun hands-on science demo about why we use soap and water to wash our hands! You can also participate using things you’ll find in your kitchen. For this experiment, you will need the following:
- A bowl or pan of water
- Black pepper (ask your adult)
- Dish soap
- Your fingers
- Paper towel
NOTE: This experiment is actually about surface tension. The science behind it is that soap breaks up water molecules’ ability to hold together, which causes them to break their links, thereby spreading out. The pepper helps you see the break. This experiment is a great analogy for what soap does to germs, but if you want to see what’s really happening, check out the experiments below!
Here are some additional experiments you can try at home.
EXPLORE: Use the link below to explore a cool science experiment about the importance of hand washing. The activities in this experiment are geared for older kids.
DO: Here is another science experiment you can do to demonstrate why washing your hands is so important. It requires 1-2 apples (depending on how many variables you want to have in your experiment), 2-4 jars with lids, tape to label jars, a marker or pen, hand soap, and about a week for observation and to gather data.
BE A GERM BUSTER AT HOME: Talk to your grown-up about ways you can help be a germ buster at home. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Start with washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, coughing into your elbow, staying away from people who are sick (and not spreading germs when you are sick), eating healthy foods, and getting enough sleep and exercise.
- Put toys (legos, action figures, etc.) in a mesh bag and run an extra cycle in the dishwasher or washing machine to clean and sanitize them.***
- Other things that can be run through the dishwasher (in a mesh bag) include toothbrushes, pacifiers or binkies, retainers, hair brushes (once the hair is removed), pet food and water bowls, tub toys, etc.***
- Give your toys a bath. Scrub them with soap and water and dry them carefully.***
- Help wipe down door handles and light switches.
- Give your grown up a break by wiping down kitchen counters and the dining room table.
- Make it a game to see who can have the most fun and get the surfaces cleaner faster.
***Important note about cleaning toys in the dishwasher:
This does not work for toys that have:
- Fabric or soft parts
- Places where water can seep inside and ruin them (e.g. balls that light up or toys with buttons to push)
- Batteries and electronics
- Loose or Removable Parts
- Wooden parts
PLAY GERM BUSTER BINGO WHILE YOU HELP YOUR GROWN-UP CLEAN!
Added Gross Motor bonus — dance and laugh as you listen to this Germ Busters! Parody while doing your part to help keep your space clean and healthy.
G E R M S
|Wash your hands before you eat.||Make a poster or song for your family sharing all the ways you can be Germ Busters!||Wash all of the Legos or plastic toys (either in the bathtub or the dishwasher)||Do not share your drinking glass with someone else.||Get plenty of sleep.|
|Wipe down the kitchen counters with antibacterial wipes.||Wipe down all the door handles with an antibacterial wipe.||Clean your backpack (and the things inside it) with antibacterial wipes.||Use soap and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.||Use a tissue when coughing or sneezing. When you are done, throw it away and WASH YOUR HANDS!|
|Create a Wash Your Hands poster for the bathroom!||Cough into your elbow when you need to cough.||Germ Free||Drink plenty of water.||Wipe down all the light switches with an antibacterial wipe.|
|Take out the garbage. WASH YOUR HANDS afterwards!||Play in the back yard or take a healthy walk.||Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth, or face.||Stay away from people who are sick (and don’t spread your own germs if you are sick).||Do a science experiment about washing your hands!|
|Eat healthy foods (lots of fruit and vegetables).||Wipe off eating spaces or the dining room table with germ killing spray and paper towels or antibacterial wipes.||Read one of the Germ Busting books in the blog!||Give your toys a bath. Scrub them with soap and water and let them dry carefully.||Wash your hands after you use the bathroom.|
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- This is an awesome elementary school’s video about germs in school. As you watch, see if you can be a Germ Buster and pose your own hypothesis about where you might find germs in school (and how to fight them).
- How do germs spread? Watch this video and see if you can figure it out.
- Check out these women and men who were at the forefront of germ research and immune systems. MeetFlorence Nightingale, Rebecca Cole, and Louis Pasteur.
Storytime with Handley Regional Library: For some inspirational germ-busting reading ideas and storytime activities, check out these offerings from the Handley Regional Library!
Other Video Read Alouds for Handley Regional Library Storytime:
- Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman
- Don’t You Feel Well Sam by Amy Hest, illustrated by Anita Jeram
- Germs Make Me Sick by Melvin Berger, illustrated by Marylin Haffner
Sneezy Louise by Irene Breznek, illustrated by Janet Pedersen
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