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Tips To Reduce Germs in the Classroom

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Photo of Holly (Teach Starter)
Updated | 4 min read

You may have a giggle when you see those teaching memes shared on social media about germs. But, the reality is, the number of germs that get shared on a daily basis within your classroom is scary! I think it is sometimes easier to just turn a blind eye and hope that the germs stay at bay.

However, discussing and talking about how easily germs can transfer and what children can do to stop their germs from spreading is a much better solution.

Easier said than done right? Especially with younger children. First of all, the germs on their hands are invisible, so you need to try to explain how invisible particles transfer! Well, there’s no need to stress. We have pulled together a range of good hygiene activities, posters, and videos to help explain the importance of personal hygiene with students of all ages.

Hygiene Activities for the Classroom

Glittery Germy Hands

Have you ever watched your students washing their hands? It’s usually a quick wet of the hands under running water and an even quicker shake of the hands. Then, off they go to keep playing with their friends!

Teach your students about the importance of handwashing and good hand hygiene with this fun glittery germy hands activity! If you aren’t afraid of a bit of glitter around the classroom, then this is the activity for you!

Also, if you are wanting to be more environmentally friendly – we have found some bio-glitter that you can purchase online at Today Glitter.

Simply put some hand lotion on each child’s hand and get them to rub it all over their hands. Over a large container, sprinkle different colored glitter over each child’s hand. Have them rub their hands to spread the glitter evenly.

Next, get your students to shake each other’s hands, touch some furniture around the classroom. The various colors will demonstrate how easily germs are shared.

Next, ask your students to try to get the glitter off with a dry paper towel. Then, have them try to get the glitter off with a sprinkle of cold water. Finally, use warm soapy water to get the glitter germs off!

A fantastic demonstration of how germs are spread and how we need to use warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds to get all the germs (glitter) off our hands.

Clean Hands vs Dirty Hands – Bread Experiment

While this experiment is totally and utterly gross, it really does visually explain the importance of cleaning your hands! Plus, all you need is three pieces of bread and three ziplock bags.

  1. Sit students in a circle and pass around one piece of bread (preferably after playtime when their hands are at their grubbiest). Place that slice in one ziplock bag and label it ‘dirty hands’.
  2. Have students wash their hands extremely well! Use our Steps for Washing Hands Poster and How to Wash Your Hands Poster to explain this process to your students.
  3. Then, get them to pass the second slice of bread around and put that piece of bread in a second ziplock bag labeled ‘clean hands’.
  4. With gloves on, put one slice in a third ziplock bag and label that the control slice of bread.
  5. Leave all three bags for approximately one week taking daily observations.

How Germs Spread – PomPom Activity

This is such a cute way to explain the importance of covering your sneezes and coughs! After explaining how to cover your sneezes and coughs, hold some mini pompoms in your hands and pretend to sneeze into your hands and blow the pompoms all over the class. The kids will find this hysterical! Then, get the students into pairs and get them to do the same thing.


Leave the pompoms all over the classroom and talk about how germs spread easily if you don’t cover your sneezes and coughs!

Hygiene Posters for the Classroom

Visually reminding your students how to stop the spread of germs is another fantastic way to encourage personal hygiene. We have created this collection of posters perfect for displaying in your classroom today.

Use Videos to Explain All About Germs!

Another great way to show how germs spread, and the importance of personal hygiene, is by showing kid-friendly videos.

Here is a cute video you could show to your class:

Let us know what you do to stop the spread of germs in your classroom…
Share your activity ideas in the comments section of this blog.


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  • Julianne Bananto

    I love this lesson! Especially with COVID-19. This will really prove that washing hands really work.

    • Tom (Teach Starter)

      Hi Julianne, Glad to hear that you enjoy the ideas in this blog! Lot's of engaging ways to teach students about germs and the ways they spread!

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