Teaching children the link between ‘invisible’ germs and illnesses can be tricky.
Luckily VFV volunteers Abi and Marijke have a clever way of demonstrating this.
Step 1 : Get four children to volunteer for the experiment.
Step 2: Take some glitter and sprinkle it on the hands of two of the volunteers. Explain that the glitter is representing germs and that germs can make us ill. Normally we can’t see germs but the glitter lets us ‘see’ them for the experiment.
Step 3: Get those volunteers with glittery hands to shake hands with the other two volunteers.
Step 4: All the volunteers show their hands to the audience. Everyone can see that the hands of all volunteers have glitter (germs) on them!
Step 5: Now get the volunteers to touch plates, spoons and other objects.
Step 6: Show the objects to the audience (which now have glitter on them) to show how easy it is to spread the glitter (germs).
Step 7: Check that the audience have understood the message!
Step 8: Now get all the volunteers to wash their hands thoroughly.
Step 9: The volunteers come back and show their clean, glitter free hands to the audience.
Step 10: The children now understand how germs can spread and how important proper hand washing is.
To reinforce the message Abi and Marijke ensure that all children in their feeding project wash their hands properly before eating their daily meal. The children have started to really enjoy this ritual and sometimes it’s hard to drag them away from the taps!
Photos and story by Liz Avery – VFV Media Intern