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7 Ways to Teach Children About Germs

March 23, 2020

Have you washed your hands?” is a question you have probably asked your child before. With the current Coronavirus pandemic, teaching children about germs is incredibly important. But just how exactly should we explain germs to children? Check out our handy learning video above, then discover 7 ways to teach kids about germs below.  


Let’s being with the soap & pepper experiment! Fill a bowl with water and sprinkle ground black pepper (representing the germs) on top. Squirt liquid soap onto your finger and place in the bowl to see the soap repel the “germs”. An excellent way to teach children the importance of using soap, this experiment cleverly demonstrates how soap sends germs running.  

You can also ask children to place their hand into a bowl of flour, then play with some washable toys, such as building blocks. Next, ask children to comment on what happened to the flour. Children can see how the flour representing germs on our hands transferred to all the items they touched. Again, this shows hand-washing benefits of removing germs. These easy science experiments for kids are a great way to spark interest in microbiology


Help inspire children by teaching them about famous scientific discoveries. Though this activity may be tailored more to older children, it is possible to break down the science to make it understandable for younger children. Changing complex terms and explaining them in kid-friendly ways allows all aged children to access information about inspirational scientists who paved the way for future generations. For example, kids can study the work of Louis PasteurRobert Koch and Esther Lederberg about germs and bacteria


Children can learn about germs with useful science worksheets and displays. You can download germ colouring sheets for an educational, mindful activity for kids. These free printables introduce children to the structure of viruses and bacteria in an interesting way. For children of all ages, why not try ‘How to Wash Your Hands’ cut and stick ordering activity. This improves sequencing skills whilst encouraging good hygiene and reducing the spread of germs. You may also find it worthwhile to print the resource and use it as a hand washing display at home or in the classroom.  


Childrens’ books are wonderful learning tools that present complex knowledge in a child-friendly way. For example, ‘What are Germs?’ is a great interactive book teaching kids all about germs with brightly coloured illustrations and flaps to lift. Similarly, this book cleverly teaches children all about the invisible world of microbes by breaking down the complex science of micro-organisms. These primary resources science books introduce children to non-fiction in an engaging way.  


You can find engaging online videos about germs for kids on BBC Bitesize. In this video, children can learn about the microscopic world of bacteria and how important hand washing is in reducing germs. Children can watch a step-by-step tutorial on how to wash their hands here. Videos are brilliant visual learning resources. Encouraging good – but not excessive – personal hygiene for kids is key, as it lessens the spread of germs and, consequently, the spread of viruses. You can read more about prevention techniques for Coronavirus on the NHS website. 


Little scientists can study microbiology with an amazing range of primary resources science toys. For example, pair this Learning Resources first microscope with prepared microscope slides and study labelled specimens. Older children may enjoy Nancy B’s Microscope and Activity Journal’. Alternatively, kids can zoom in on learning with a digital microscope providing precise magnification.  


Last but not least, create songs about bacteria! Kids can get creative and apply what they have learned to their favourite songs. For example, little ones may like to change the words to their favourite nursery rhymes such as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Not only is singing a fun way to learn, but it encourages children to take what they have learned and apply it, increasing the likelihood of them retaining the information. 

For those children and parents who are social distancing, self-isolating or home schooling due to Coronavirus, you can download hundreds of home learning worksheets on WordUnited’s Free Resources Hub. New resources are added weekly and support learning for all areas of the National Curriculum. Browse thousands more learning resources, toys and books at!  


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