Location: indoor or outdoor
Materials: cinnamon (or another scented spice), soap, water
This is a great hands-on activity to introduce the concept of germs and the importance of thorough hand washing to young children.
Start by putting a little bit of a spice (like cinnamon) on each child's hands, rub the spice around, and invite them to smell them. Have them wash their hands using just water-- can they still smell the spice? N
ext, have each child wash their hands again, this time using soap. Smell them again. Can they still smell the spice?
Connect this activity to germs-- we can't see them (we can't even smell them!), but they're there. Just like the spice, it takes more than just water to wash them away.
- Introduce a hand washing song for kids to sing while they wash their hands. For example, sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat":
Wash, wash, wash your hands
Wash them every day
When we rub the soap around
We wash the germs away
What We're Learning
- being a member of a group (ie: we take care of each other by washing our hands)
- scientific thinking (ie: trial and error, cause and effect)