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Germs and Handwashing

Preschool and Kindergarten Activities

Germs and handwashing
Germs and hand washing lesson plan


Children will learn about the importance of using soap and water to kill germs.



Literacy: Read the book Germs Are Not for Sharing! by Elizabeth Verdick.

Discuss the book with children. Talk about all the different ways that germs can be spread. Have children sit in a large circle. Pretend to sneeze in your hand and spray some cooking spray on your hand. Sprinkle some glitter on your hand. Ask children to pretend that the specks of glitter are germs. Then, shake a child's hand and have the child look at their hand. Say "Look, she got my germs." Then have that child shake someone else's hand, and so on. Choose one child to wash but not dry his/her hands, Then have that child show the other children his/her hands (not all glitter should be gone yet). Next, have the child dry his/her hands with a paper towel and show the other childrenagain. Explain that correct handwashing is important to get rid of germs that can make us sick.

Music and Movement

Germs Will Make You Sick
(Tune: Hokey-Pokey)
By Becky Valenick
Germs are really mean,
But they can't be seen.
They will make you sick,
Then you will feel "ick'.
Use some soap and water,
Scrub your hands to get them clean—
Clean's what it's all about!

Discuss that washing and bathing prevents us from getting sick. Ask children when they need to wash our hands.

• before eating or touching food in any way (like if you're helping cook or bake)
• after using the bathroom
• after blowing your nose or coughing or putting your hands in your mouth
• after touching any pets or animals
• after playing outside
• after visiting a sick relative or friend

Good Hand Washing

Practice good hand washing with your children:

  1. Wet hands
  2. Apply soap
  3. Rub soapy hands for 20 seconds
  4. Scrub fingertips & between fingers
  5. Scrub forearm to just below elbow
  6. Rinse forearms & hands
  7. Use towel to dry hands & forearms
  8. Turn off water with towel & throw towel away

Sing the song Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands while you wash the hands.

Tune: “Row Your Boat”
“Wash, wash, wash your hands
Play our handy game.
Rub and scrub, and scrub and rub.
Germs go down the drain.

Wash, wash, wash your hands
Play our handy game.
Rub and scrub, and scrub and rub.
Dirt goes down the drain.”

Here is another great website with more great resources:

The Importance of Washing Your Hands

Pretend Play Hospital or Doctors Office
Give your child supplies to play hospital. Children can the patient, with make-believe broken bones, sore muscles, or cut skin. Props can include a stethoscope, cot, bandages, toy syringes (without needles), and old white shirts that can be worn as lab coats.

Water Table
Have children wash and dry toys in soapy water.

Outdoor Game
“Germ Tag." One child is “it” and pretends to be a bad germ. Whoever he/she touches is “out.”


Germs rhyme coloring page
Soap craft: Make a soap with an animal inside.


Click here to print this page

Movement Activities

picture of Lilly jumping rope

Firefighter's Workout

Firefighters need to stay healthy and strong to be able to carry the heavy fire equipments. Let children join you in a firefighter's workout. Do exercises like jumping jacks, leg lifts, running in place, and carrying buckets full of water from one place to another, etc.


Wash your face and hands with soap,
Wash them every day!
Keeping clean by using soap
Will help keep germs away!



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