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Helping children learn about nasty germs and the importance of proper hand washing may be easier after this Saturday Science experiment.

Here is a way to help them ‘see’ germs, the invisible things that cause children to get sick. Remembering to wash hands and covering a cough may make more sense once they try this.

Photo credit: Restoration Place

Glitter germs are a concrete example as to why kids should wash their hands with soap and warm water. Gather some cute little hands and give it a go.

Collect these materials: several colors of sparkly glitter, paper towels, hand lotion, and a large container to catch the glitter.

  1. Put a small amount of hand lotion in each child’s hand. Have them rub it all over their hands.
  2. Over a large container, sprinkle a separate color of glitter into each child’s hand. Have them rub their hands to spread the glitter evenly. Next have them shake each others hands. The various colors will colorfully demonstrate how easily germs are shared .
  3. Next, have them try to get the glitter off with dry paper towel.
  4. Then, have them try to get the glitter off with plain, cold water. After that,  use warm soapy water to get the glitter germs off.

Now you can discuss what happened trying to get the glitter germs off of their hands.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  reports that up to 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands and recommends that you wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with clean, warm running water and soap.

Try singing this little ditty two times (20 seconds) while washing little hands.

Sung to the tune of “Row, row, row your boat”

Wash, wash , wash your hands,

Play our handy game.

Rub and scrub, scrub and rub,

Germs go down the drain.