As adults, we most likely want to prevent children from getting sick. It disturbs their playtime and they often look helpless lying in bed during an illness. One way to keep kids healthy is to teach them how to prevent germs.
I have provided 4 FUN and SIMPLE activities that will complete this mission! These activities will have your child wanting to help with chores and pinpoint the importance of good hygiene.
Learn How to Teach Kids to Cover their Mouths in a Fun Way
Let’s get started by answering basic questions about germs/microbes.
How are germs spread by hands?
When you cough or sneeze, this is the lungs’ way of doing their job to force bad germs/microbes out. Some people cough in their hands if they don’t have a tissue. Coughing in your hands leads to germs being left there. When you touch anything such as a doorknob, pen, sink, utensils, or someone else’s hand, you will spread germs.
How can you prevent germs from spreading?
There are good and bad germs. You want to keep good germs and get rid of bad germs. Good germs can help make vitamins that your body needs. Foods that increase good bacteria or germs are asparagus, beans, spinach, and bananas.
One way to prevent bad germs from spreading is to cough or sneeze into a tissue or elbow. Furthermore, if you don’t cover up at all while sneezing and coughing, the germs can go really far. Some germs can travel 100 miles (160km) per hour and spread over 100,000 more.
Another way to prevent germs is to wash your hands frequently with soap. Soap helps to remove dirt and microbes. Hand washing should occur before eating, after using the bathroom, when playtime is complete, after using public transportation, or visiting public places.
How can kids prevent germs?
Germs can enter the body through the mouth, nose, breaks in the skin, eyes and genitals (privates). Below are 5 ways to prevent germs…
- Using tissues to wipe and blow your nose.
- Staying home from school when you are sick.
- Keep hands out of mouth.
- Do not use other’s forks, spoons, or drink from the same cup.
- Teach kids to wash their hands.
How do you teach a child to wash their hands?
Have kids do the following steps to wash their hands…
- Wet their hands with warm or cold water.
- Use soap to lather their hands while singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
- Scrub between fingers, on the backs of hands, and under nails.
- Rinse well and dry with a clean towel.
Tip: Create a colorful chart with the steps above and display in all bathrooms.
Here’s a Great Book that Teaches Kids about Germs
Have you ever asked a child to wash their hands and they asked “Why?” The story, Do not lick this book* by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost, provides a fun and engaging way to answer this question.
How this Book makes Learning about Germs Fun!
This book is about an oval shaped microbe character named Min, who teaches children about germs, by going on an adventure. Min begins her journey ON the book and involves readers by asking them to take her various places.
For example, the book says “Let’s take Min on an adventure! See the circle on the next page? That’s where Min lives. Touch the circle with your finger to pick her up. Min is now on your finger!”
Taking your Child on a Germ Journey
During Min’s travels, she meets friends and takes them along the way. Somehow Min and Rae end up on the reader’s shirt! At each stop, the authors show children a microscopic view of their destination. Additionally, commentary from other microbes explain how they function. While Min and Rae on are the reader’s shirt, one microbe says “Can you give me a hand spreading this dirt around?” Another microbe says “We’re making this shirt smell.”
While Min and friends are on the reader’s belly button, one microbe asks, “Did I tell you about the time soap got all the way in here? Another microbe replies “I don’t like scary stories!” This book teaches children the importance of brushing their teeth, washing clothes, and taking a bath in a humorous manner.
At the end, the authors show readers what microbes really look like and where they can be found.
Let’s apply it with 4 FUN Activities!
Use the activities below to….
- Teach your Child about germs.
- Encourage them to help with chores.
- Promote Hygiene and Self-Care.
I do these activities with my son and he loves it!
Create the Germ/Microbe
- Have your child draw a germ/microbe.
- Tell the child to give the microbe a name.
- Have your child draw the microbe a friend and name it.
- Tell your child the microbe is going to travel to three places…
- Their clothes
- On their teeth
- On their hands
- Tell your child you are going to get rid of the germs by doing the next three activities.
- Explain to children that microbes get on our clothes and make them dirty and stinky.
- While doing laundry have your child help you put the clothes in the dryer and washing machine.
- While your child is handling the clothes say the following…
- “Let’s get the Microbes off the clothes by putting them in washing machine.
- Make it fun and urgent by saying the following…
- “Oh no! The microbes are multiplying let’s put them in the washing machine quickly!
- Make it into a race against the Microbes.
- Explain to children that microbes get on our teeth and cause tooth decay and cavities.
- Explain that cavities are holes in your teeth.
- The microbes also cause your breathe to stink.
- These microbes love sugars like candy.
- In order to get them off, they must floss and brush their teeth.
- While your child is brushing their teeth say the following..
- “Hurry Hurry, the microbes are running because they know we are about to brush your teeth!
- Let’s brush your teeth to remove them now!”
- I hear the microbes saying, “No, No don’t brush your teeth! We don’t like the smell of toothpaste!”
- When your child is rinsing their mouth and spitting, say the following…
- “The microbes are down the drain and they are yelling “No, No!”
- Explain to children that microbes get on our hands as we touch various things like the doorknob and sink.
- We often touch our noses, mouths, and eyes allowing microbes to come into our bodies and make us sick.
- We need to wash our hands to decrease our chances of getting sick.
- While your child is washing their hands, laugh and say the following…
- “We are going to get those microbes by washing our hands with soap!”
- “The microbes are scared of soap so let’s keep scrubbing!”
- When your child is rinsing their hands, say the following…
- “The microbes are down the drain and they are yelling “No, No!”
- “Yes! We conquered the microbes!”
When I forget to do these activities, my son usually asks me to play the Microbe Games!
Get creative with your children on how to remove microbes!