Did you know the No A? Walk Away! website has more than fifteen food safety activity ideas to go along with the videos? Today we are going to take a look at an activity designed to show how germs spread on hands. After you’ve seen how to do the activity, be sure to view the full instructions for additional information.
First, you need to gather some materials from your kitchen. Find your cocoa powder, grab some paper plates and plastic utensils, and take out a large bowl. Pour about a cup of cocoa powder in the bowl and set the bowl and the paper plates and plastic utensils on a table. If your child tends to be messy, you may want to make him wear an apron.
Cover Hands in Cocoa Powder
Explain to your child that we are pretending the brown powder is germs. (I suggest not calling it cocoa powder, because they may connect the dots and start licking their hands!) Let your child place her hands in the bowl full of the cocoa powder. Make sure she moves her hands around and gets cocoa powder in between her fingers and on the backs of her hands.
Pretend to Eat
After her hands are covered, tell her to set the table or pretend to eat with the plate and utensils. Show her how the “germs” are all over the plate and utensils. Explain how germs can make us sick and tell her how we need to wash our hands before we eat so we don’t get germs inside of us.
Following the method in the hand washing video, show the child how to wash her hands. I suggest watching the video before starting the activity, so the child is familiar with the hand washing method before her hands are dirty. Ask the child to hold her hands up in the air while walking from the table to the restroom to lessen the chance of messes.
If the child is older, ask him or her some of the additional questions listed in the activity instructions. These questions may lead to other experiments and discussions. If you are interested in doing more activities about hand washing or food safety, be sure to take a look at the No A? Walk Away! activity ideas page.
Have you done this activity with your child or your students? How did they react? Tell us your story in the comments.