Health & Wellness Fridays: Germ Fighters

WASH YOUR HANDS!

You’ve probably heard that a lot lately, but do you know why it’s so important? Let’s do a simple activity to learn the amazing properties of soap.

Materials & Instructions

Shallow dish full of water
Cup of water
Grated chalk powder or pepper (we used chalk powder)
Soap
Optional: hand sanitizer

STEP 1: Sprinkle chalk powder or pepper across the surface of the water in your shallow dish. Don’t sprinkle too much or the experiment won’t work as well. The chalk or pepper will represent germs.
STEP 2: Dip your finger in the cup of water.
STEP 3: Gently place your finger on the surface of your pepper or chalk-covered water.

What happened? When we tried this, our chalk stayed where it was.

STEP 4: Squirt a little bit of soap onto your finger and cover your finger in it.
STEP 5: Gently place your finger on the surface of your pepper or chalk-covered water.

What happened? When we tried this, our chalk ran away from our soap-covered finger!

Wow! Soap is pretty amazing. It breaks apart germs and viruses so that our hands can be nice and clean, and then all those nasty germs get washed down the drain when we rinse off the soap. Remember: when you wash your hands, make sure you wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry! 

Want to learn more about handwashing? Check out the CDC’s guide to hand washing

Vocab Words

LATHER: Lather means to make bubbles. When we wash our hands, we want to use enough soap and water that we create bubbles on our hands.
SCRUB: Scrub means to rub your hands together hard enough to clean them. We can’t just put soap and water on our hands and expect them to clean themselves – we have to scrub!
GERM: A germ is a teeny tiny (so tiny you can’t see it without a microscope!) living thing. Some germs are good; some germs are bad and can make us sick. When we wash our hands, we wash off all those bad germs that could make us sick.

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