Spicy Germs

Spicy Germs

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.

Possible Extensions:

  • 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

  • self-care
  • sensory
  • 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)