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Activities for you to do with your children

Article providing details on three experiments which can be carried out with early years children, to show how bugs can spread.
© BSAC & PHE

The following activities have been adapted from the Antibiotic Guardian Youth Badge Pack, and can be carried out with children to teach them about how bugs spread and the importance of good hygiene.

‘Giant Sneeze’

image of 'giant sneeze' activity

This activity has been popular in several different situations including school assemblies, science shows and festivals, even at a flu vaccination launch event for public health professionals! It demonstrates the best way to keep coughs and sneezes from spreading microbes. This activity takes 10-15 minutes.

A summary of instructions can be found here, or in the downloads section below.

‘Soap and pepper experiment’

image of 'soap and pepper' experiment

This activity involves the use of a hand soap dispenser, pepper, and water to demonstrate why we need to use soap to wash our hands and why water alone is not as effective. This activity takes 10-15 minutes.

A summary of instructions can be found here, or in the downloads section below.

‘Horrid hands’

image of 'horrid hands' experiment

This activity involves the use of UV gel and a torch to demonstrate the spread of microbes through our hands. The invisible UV gel represents “pretend microbes”, whilst the torch represents a “microbe detector”, as the gel can only be seen under the UV light. This activity takes 15-20 minutes. The instructions below also contain an adaptation which is suitable for social distancing.

A summary of instructions can be found here, or in the downloads section below.

Have you carried out activities which are similar to this? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Check out the e-Bug Health Educator Training course for even more activities which can be carried out with children and young people.

© BSAC & PHE
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Preventing and Managing Infections in Childcare and Pre-school

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