Learning at Home: Germs on the Move

Preschool boy playing at an art table

Use this activity to remind your child why we do things like wash our hands, cough into our elbows, and use tissues for our noses.

This activity is recommended for ages 3+

What You Need

  • Washable, non-toxic finger paint

How to Do this Activity

  1. To help demonstrate the movement of germs, after washing hands, first coat your child’s clean hands with a very thin layer of paint (which will represent pretend germs).
  2. Then, encourage your child to interact with you or their siblings in some way  like handing a ball from person to person, or selecting items on a tray.Once finished, have everyone check their hands or surfaces for the pretend germs. 
  3. Ask your child to observe how the germs spread. 

What Your Child Learns

By doing this activity together, your child will learn (and see for themselves) that germs spread easily, and use our eyes, noses, mouths, and hands to move from person-to-person, and your child will learn why hand-washing, coughing into elbows, and using tissues are important healthy habits. 

Tips for this Activity

  • Ask your child to identify the different parts of the body that spread germs (eyes, nose, mouth, and hands) by pointing to their own bodies. 
  • Make this an activity or a game you play together in the car or other places outside of the home (where possible).

Download our Activity Sheet for more health and safety learning activities to do at home. 

Written by: Bright Horizons Education Team

June 1, 2021

About The Bright Horizons Education Team

Teacher reading to a toddler boy and girl

Whether you’re looking for parenting advice, or trying to figure out how to bring learning from the classroom to the family room, let Bright Horizons early education experts be your trusted, knowledgeable resource. Get our weekly newsletter for all things early child development—from the benefits of pretend play to at-home STEM activities, and teaching kindness—along with encouragement for every stage of your parenting journey.