Well, it is kind of hard to believe that this has been my most popular post of the year. It was a simple idea and it made a point and that is probably why. It seems I can never really distance myself from the dreaded Glitter Germs post so now I just have to embrace it. I will say this... my kids came in the next day coughing and told me that my "germs" made them sick. I guess the lesson worked. I have never had to have another hand washing lesson because this might just have put the fear inside of all of us with such a vivid visual. The glitter tends to linger so it is perfect to use for this activity. We all know now that you have to wash, wash, wash your hands!
I have had a lot of requests about the activity we did with the glitter germs. I was planning on doing this activity before I learned that I was having a Science visitor in my class and I decided to go ahead and include the person visiting in the activity. We have just begun introducing and talking about an I Am A Scientist Unit. We had only been in school for 7 days when we started this activity. We had been discussing safe practices during our Science time and part of that discussion is proper hand washing. I pretended to cough as the children gathered in the group area and I excused myself to get some hand sanitizer that contained the glitter. We played Dr. Jean's Hello Neighbor as a warm up activity and as everyone shook hands the glitter spread from hand to hand. It did not take long for everyone to notice the glitter. Once the song was over we discussed the transfer of germs and that germs are unseen. We decided that we needed to wash our hands to get rid of the germs. When we returned to our meeting area we realized that some of us had glitter still on our hands and we looked at our hands with hand lenses. We had a discussion about proper hand washing. After hand washing the proper way, we recorded our observations in our Science Notebooks and then we discussed the results!
I wanted to share this information from a reader, Ms. Jodie
"I did a fun germ lesson with my class yesterday. Everyone got either a pink or a yellow paint dot on their hand and two kids got a blue dot. I let them shake their friends hands and after a 2 minutes I had them stop and make a hand print on the paper. They then went to wash their hands. We looked at the prints and I told them the blue signifies germs. 16 of 17 kids had blue on their hand print. Then I had them look at their hands. A few kids said that they still had some blue on their hands. We talked about how this means they were not washing their hands well enough and they could have germs left on their hands : ). They all seemed to get it and they were all scrubbing away today!"
Glitter germs were made by using Germ-X and cosmetic super fine glitter. You would not want to use any other kind of glitter in case it gets into your eye. I put it on my hands, pretended to cough and then started shaking hands with each child to a Dr. Jean song, Hello Neighbor. They started noticing the glitter right away and it transferred very well. When the song was over we had our discussion, washed our hands and notebooked about our experience. We even investigated our germs with hand lenses.
So, have fun giving this one a try, but just be careful because GLITTER GERMS have a tendency to linger!