Going back to school can be an exciting time for you and your little ones, especially if they are just starting school. There are many new things to learn, new activities to attend, and many new friends to meet. However, in the midst of all of those exciting things, there are also many germs to spread around. Whether you’re preparing to send your kindergartner off for the first time, or you’ve got a third grader who’s a seasoned student, it’s important to teach your kids about germs, and give them a refresher course every once in a while.
But how do you teach kids about something they can’t see? Many children are visual learners, and won’t be able to grasp the concept of germs through a simple conversation. This activity from Parent’s Magazine is a great way to show kids how germs work.
Shake a little glitter into the palm of your child’s damp hand, and have him or her rub her hands together until the glitter is evenly distributed. Next, have them touch a few things that are known for carrying germs, like doorknobs, toys, and light switches. Some of the glitter should rub off, which will demonstrate how germs are spread everywhere. Then, have your child wash his or her hands with only water and point out how few “germs” come off. Finally, have your them wash their hands with warm water and soap, taking note of how all the glitter comes off with this method.
After your kids have learned how tricky germs are once they catch them, you may want to offer some tips on how to avoid germs, and get rid of them.
1. Proper hand washing techniques- tell your kids to make sure to use warm water and antibacterial soap, and to scrub for thirty seconds, or to sing “Happy Birthday” once while scrubbing.
2. Keep your hands off your face– make sure your children know not to put their fingers in their mouth, nose, or eyes. Tell them this is the quickest way for germs to enter their body.
3. Keep it covered- teach your little ones to cover their mouth when they sneeze and cough. Let them know that this shares their icky germs with their friends.
4. Only put your food in your mouth-tell your kids not to share food or drinks with anyone, and not to chew on their pencil, or anything else that isn’t food. Share with them once again that this is the quickest way for germs to enter their body.
While it’s impossible to completely prevent your kids from getting sick, by teaching them about germs and the proper techniques to avoid them, you can reduce the risk of your child catching an illness at school. So send your kids back to school with the knowledge and skills to say, “germ free, that’s me!”