Sunday, August 30, 2009

Preschool-Swine flu Prep: Germs and health care

I will post pics of what we do each day, but here is our plan for preschool this week.

  • Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting but... invisible Germs by Judith Anne Rice
  • A trip to the Doctor by Margot Linn
  • Germs are not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick
  • Germs make me Sick by Melvin Berger (this was a Reading Rainbow book)
  • Achoo! All about colds by Patricia Brennan Demuth
  • Germs by Judy Oetting
  • Going to the Dentist by Fred Rodgers
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy's Great Big Book of Tiny Germs as a reference book
  • Sneeze Experiment: Grab a spray bottle, fill it with water and food coloring. Use the spray bottle and tissues to "fake sneeze" and to show how germs spread. Explain the right way to sneeze, to prevent germs spread.
  • Heart rate activity: Feel your heartbeat at rest, dance to fast paced music, then feel your heartbeat again afterward. Exercise is a very important part of staying healthy, explain why it is important to get exercise each and every day. What types of activities will get your heart rate up?
  • September is Yoga Awareness month. Discuss how stress affects your health. Practice Yoga and deep breathing.
  • Talk about how nutrition and vitamins affects our health.
  • Grow germs to study them in "petri dishes": In a saucepan mix 1 bullion cube, 2 tsp sugar, 1 cup water, and 1 envelope of gelatin. Divide the mixture between little sauce cups, or foil muffin tins and let cool in refrigerator. Once they are cool and solid, touch one with your unwashed finger (make sure to label and keep track), one to a light switch, leave one out for 15 minutes, wash your hands and touch one, and leave one covered as your control dish. Observe what happens. Germs that land on the nutrients in the cups grow and multiply, they will make colonies big enough to see without a microscope.
  • Does washing hands work experiment: Tear a paper towel in half, get each piece wet and put each of the two pieces in a plastic ziploc bag. The take your hands outside and rub them in dirt, touch your dirty hands to a slice of bread. Put that slice in one of the ziploc bags with a paper towel in it. Then wash your hands thoroughly. Touch your clean hands to another slice of bread, put that slice in the other bag with a paper towel. What happened? You should see mold growing on the dirty bread after a few days. Washing your hands takes off all the microscopic germs
  • Use syringes with the needles removed to paint a picture. This is an especially good activity for kids who are nervous around needles.
  • How germs are spread: Have the children all use lotion on their hands, then put superfine glitter on their hands. Go about your day. Where does the glitter end up? That is where germs would be also.
  • Why do we keep food in the refridgerator?: Take two soda bottles, fill them halfway with warm water. Put a packet of yeast into each bottle, and 1 TBL sugar in each. Fit a balloon over the neck of each bottle. Place on bottle in a warm place, and the other in the fridge. Which balloon blows up, and why?
  • Make a stethescope from pipe cleaners, tin foil, and cotton balls.
  • Make a doctor bag .
  • Use cornstarch to show how germs are spread.
  • Discuss brushing teeth the right way. Use an empty egg carton for "alligator teeth" give children an old tooth brush, and white paint to "brush/paint" the alligator teeth right. Explain how we have to get between the teeth. Practice flossing.
  • Discuss first aid, what to do in various situations.
  • create a stuffed animal first aid station. Any bears who neeed "stiches"?, Use Plaster of paris and white gauze to cast an animal.
  • Finger cast finger puppets: Use plaster of paris and gauze to create a finger cast. let dry, then decorate the cast.
  • Use a paper plate to create Mr Yuk. Then go through your home and talk about all the items that are poisonous using Mr Yuk. Go to your local poinson control center and grab some Mr Yuk stickers, lable everything in the house that is hazardous with the stickers.


  1. Jennifer I just stumbled onto your blog and I am so inspired!! We are just starting to "officially" homeschool our preschooler and I am excited to use some of your germ/health unit!! I hope you don't mind?!?! You are doing an incredible do you cover all the material?? Can't wait to see all the great things you are your children do!


  2. Beth,
    I don't mind at all, that is why I do it! I hope it helps you. Sometimes it takes us longer than I have planned, the best laid plans of mice and moms...

  3. You are too kind! You inspired me so much that I immediately left your blog and made a whole curriculum for my little guys on the same germy subject!! We are starting this week with our "formal" training and will be using the health unit to start us off!!
    Thanks again and thanks for the comment at our family blog!

  4. I discovered your blog through the Homeschool Carnival and LOVE this Unit. I have a site that has several themes and was wondering if you wanted to "guest post" this theme on my blog in the preschool themes section. Let me know if you are interested - I get about 100-150 unique views a day and you can refer them to your blog in your post.

  5. Rachel,
    I would love to. I tried to follow the links but couldn't see a way to contact you directly. Feel free to send me an email with details!

  6. Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm putting together a Germ unit study for my 5, 7, and 10yo. There are several things here that will fit in wonderfully - especially the experiments.


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