I love getting books for my son that explain basic germ prevention, hygiene and life skills. One day we were looking in the Children’s Science section of the library and saw the book, You Wouldn’t Want to Live Without Soap! by Alex Woolf and Mark Bergin.
This book gives children the history of soap, how it is made and why it works. We learned that before soap was invented, people used urine, incense smoke, clay, sand pumice, and ashes to clean themselves.
The pictures in this book are colorful and appealing to children. It will make your children laugh, say “ewwww”, and become more curious. The authors have included hands-on activities and tips that will further your child’s understanding of soap and its purpose.
One experiment we did involved ingredients you have in your home such as oil, water, and dishwashing liquid. It teaches kids why soap is a better cleaner than water by itself. My son learned that water and oil don’t mix, so washing with water only leaves most of the dirt behind.
I will show you the experiment and other discoveries we made.
Let’s Get Started!
- Cooking Oil
- Dishwashing liquid
- Jars (2)
- Put cooking oil and water in a jar.
- Screw on the lid and shake
- The oil and water should separate into layers
- Add drops of dishwashing liquid to the jar and shake again
- This time it should make a cloudy mixture
- Oil and water are no longer separate layers
- Compare two jars.
- One jar should have oil and water.
- The second jar should have a mixture of oil, water, and dishwashing liquid.
Why this Experiment Works and How Germs are Washed Away
- Most dirt contains oil.
- Oil and water do not mix so washing with water only leaves most dirt behind.
- Soap binds to water, dirt, and oil.
- The tail of soap molecules attach to oil.
- The head of soap sticks to water.
- When soapy water mixes with dirt, the soap molecules form tiny clusters called micelles.
- When you wash your hands with soap, dirt mixed with oil from your skin is pulled inside the micelles, then rinsed away.
- In the experiment, the soap molecules grabbed the oil and water making a cloudy mixture in the jar.
I hope this helps! Have fun with this experiment!
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22 thoughts on “Teach Kids to Prevent Germs with this Science Experiment”
That is great and also a fun activity to get the kids to help us make!!
Thank you for your comment and compliment!
Yes! With flu season upon us it’s so important to teach kids about germs and how to prevent getting sick. I love this activity.
Thank you! I am glad you found this helpful!!
Great post, teaching the kids about germs is very important.
Yes it is! Thank you for the compliment and comment!
I love this experiment. We have been practicing hand hygiene with the kids preparing for an upcoming cruise. Maybe this experiment will help them understand why we need soap!!
Oh good! I hope your kids enjoy this experiment!
Love this simple lesson on germs will have to share it with my kids.
Thank you! My son loved this activity and understands the importance of using soap.
I love this kid friendly science experiment what a fun way to teach our little ones the importance of washing their hands!
Thank you! I love simple experiments that are fun and educational.
My son loves science, so this is a great way to show him how washing hands gets rid of germs. You are so creative!
Thank you Jessica! I hope your son likes this activity!
What a cute way to teach kids about germs and how to kill them! My little ones are always interested in the why and the how—this would be a nice way to give them that but more hands on!
My son is curious like your children. I think your kids will like this experiment! Thank you for your comment.
This is a great way to teach kids about germs and the importance of washing with soap to stay healthy and clean. I love this simple science experiment that can be done even with young children. What a great visual way to teach an important concept!
Thank you for your comment! I am glad you liked the experiment!
What a good idea! This is a great way to show young kids how important it is to wash your hands!
Thank you for your comment!