Germs are usually a hot topic of conversation in the classroom as it's no secret that schools see germs spread fast! Recent world events have made teaching kids about germs and how to fight them even more important.
We've compiled a list of some of the best activities for germ education, to teach children about the concept of germs and how basic hygiene practices can help fight against them. From educational videos, books about germs, and activities about germs, the 20 activities listed below have it covered.
1. Susie's Song - The Journey of a Germ - Sid The Science Kid
This animated video is a fun way to teach children about germs with a song. It covers the spread of germs and how we can fight against the spread of germs with basic good hygiene practices like washing our hands with soap and water and covering our mouths when we cough or sneeze.
Learn more: The Jim Henson Company
2. 3D Germ Model
Creating a cute and funny 3D germ model is a way to bring germs to life for your class. These models can help students understand the concept of different types of germs. This activity can also help older students to understand the more challenging concepts of how the structure of germs allows them to infect healthy cells.
Learn more: Teaching in Stripes
3. Handwashing Play Activity
This activity is easy to set up and is ideal for kindergarten classes to explore hand washing. Blow up gloves like balloons and draw germs on them with dry wipe markers for your students to wash off. As a bonus, all your students will have clean hands of their own at the end of the activity too!
Learn more: Teachers Mag
4. Mythbusters Contamination Experiment
This video from the TV show Mythbusters is a fantastic example to show students just how easily germs such as cold viruses spread. In the video, people use invisible luminescent liquid to replicate a runny nose and show the extent of other people's exposure to germs when all sitting around a dinner table.
Learn more: Stewart Ritchie
5. Read Germs vs Soap: A Silly Hygiene Book about Washing Hands! by Didi Dragon
Teach your students about the power of soap in the fight against germs with this super cute book. The book is a great way to start the conversation about handwashing is so important.
6. Using Bacteria as Paint
This video is all about Petri Dish Picasso, an organization that uses agar plates and different solutions with bacteria to create these stunning artworks! You could try to replicate this idea with your own Petri dishes, which can be purchased online, or with other art supplies.
Learn more: Art Insider
7. DIY Clean Hands Sensory Bag
This activity is super easy to set up and is the perfect way to help younger students understand the concept of cleaning germs off of their hands. The pom poms (or any other materials you put in the bag) can represent the germs and they can scrub them off the hands with the cleaning brush.
Learn more: Love Is Worthy
8. Homemade Petri Dishes
Your students will be amazed (and disgusted) as you make usually invisible germs become visible with these homemade petri dishes. These are super easy to make, and all with things you can buy at the grocery store, then all that's left to do is swab areas of the classroom and see what grows!
Learn more: The Sci Guys
9. Read A Germ's Journey by Thom Rooke M.D.
This book is a great read for younger students and teaches them all about how germs can spread from something as simple as a sneeze! This is a fantastic book for read alongs and the illustrations are sure to really hook your students in.
10. Sliced Bread Science Project
Your students will never wash their hands without soap again after completing this activity. Use bread to grow bacteria found on washed hands, sanitized hands, and unwashed hands. Your students will soon understand the power of soap!
Learn more: Jaralee Annice Metcalf
11. Microorganisms | The Dr. Binocs Show | Educational Videos For Kids
This video is jam-packed with facts about microorganisms, or germs, and is ideal for older students who have a keen interest in the biology of germs. It explains why we cannot see germs with the naked eye and why we would need a microscope.
Learn more: Peekaboo Kidz
12. Germ Buster Bingo
Games are always a great way to hook learners into the lesson and get them excited about their learning. This fun game gets students thinking and learning about germs as they use their problem-solving skills to fill in the blanks during this game of Germ Buster Bingo.
Learn more: Kidz Learning Connection
13. Germs for kids | What are Germs? | How do germs spread? | How do we see germs?
14. Glo Germ Mini Kit
The Glo Germ kit is a sure way to get your students excited for your lessons about germs. Using the Glo Germ gel and the included UV light, students will be able to see where usually invisible germs would hide out on their hands.
15. Fighting Germs Printable Cards
These printable cards help younger students to learn about and practice healthy habits around handwashing and also, encourage learning about different types of germs. You can talk through these cards with your class, but then post them up around the classroom as reminders for your students.
Learn more: Living Life and Learning
16. Read Germs Are Not For Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick
During flu season, it's always a good idea to encourage handwashing with students. This book is a great way to bring up this topic with younger students and get them to wash their hands.
17. KEFF Creations Bacteria Science Kit
This super fun germ education activity will have students excited and horrified as they see what invisible germs are lurking on seemingly clean surfaces around their school or classroom!
18. Washing your hands: The purple paint demonstration
Washing hands is a part of our daily life, however, many people still miss crucial areas. This activity demonstrates which areas are usually missed, and then how to ensure you cover them. Students could 'wash' their hands using the gloves and paint with their eyes shut, in order for them to get a clear visual of the areas they are overlooking. They can then practice techniques to ensure they are cleaning those areas of their hands going forward.
Learn more: Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System
19. Hand Washing Sequencing Pack
This sequencing pack is perfect for teaching younger students about a good hygiene routine for clean hands and good hygiene practices such as handwashing routines around certain times or events during the day.
Learn more: Simple Living Creative Learning
20. Create your own pet germ
Get students to create and name their own pet germ. Students will love getting creative with this task and they can learn all about what their pet germ does. These are great for students to use as a reminder to wash their hands with soap and water, so these are perfect to place beside sinks or lunch box storage areas in school.
Learn more: All Kids Network