I came across a fun activity, at A to Z Teacher Stuff ,last night, that's just right for teaching children about proper hand washing. I also discovered a free, hand washing video at Brain Pop Jr, that complimented it perfectly. If all the germ books I reserved at the library had come in today, I could just about call it perfect - but nothing ever comes together that smoothly.
As to the hand washing, I gave the children a liberal dab of lotion, to spread on their hands.
Then, we added some glitter. I cut open an old tube of glitter glue, that had been rolling around in one of the drawers for ages, and wiped a little onto each of their hands. The glue was pretty well all dried up, but the glitter mixed nicely with the lotion, and spread across their hands. I explained to them, that the glitter was supposed to be the germs on their hands, that are normally too tiny to see.
First, I had one of them try to wipe the glitter germs, and lotion, off with a napkin. It didn't work very well.
Then, I had a couple of them try to rinse the glitter off with cold water. It worked a little better, but still left some glitter germs behind.
Finally, they all washed with warm water, and soap, and then dried their hands on a clean towel, which of course, removed all the glitter germs from their hands. I was very relieved it all came off, not only because it proved the point of the importance of washing with soap, but also because my youngest son is not the type who likes to have dirty hands, and a stray piece of glitter might have really ruined his, and by extension my, day!
It's great to be a homeschooler.