I was recently contacted by Wet Ones about conducting some fun science experiments that teach kids about germs. They have teamed up with Bill Nye the Science Guy® to create the Wet Ones Healthy Hands Zone Germ Lab. In the Germ Lab, you can actually see how bacteria hides in all kinds of places, and how it can get on hands and spread those germs that cause illnesses like colds and flu! You can watch the videos of experiments with Bill Nye the Science Guy®, then get scientific and try them at home too!
We received everything we needed to conduct the experiments, including an assortment of Wet Ones products, and a Flip UltraHD video camera to record all of the fun we had.
We conducted four experiments. Even though Rylie is a little young to really understand everything that we did, she had a good time. I think she at least learned the basics about germs, and why we need to wash our hands. These experiments would be fun for kids of all ages, and I hope you will visit the Wet Ones Healthy Hand Zone and try them with your kids!
I will give you an overview of each experiment here, and you can download the instructions for each experiment from the Germ Lab to try them yourself! Two of these experiments needed time to "grow", so you will see our set up in this post, and then I will post the results next week.
~*~Germs Get Around~*~
Do you ever wonder how fast germs spread? Many surfaces we touch every day are covered with germs. And if you touch something with germs on it, it's easy to pass those germs to a friend or family member if you don't keep your hands clean. This experiment will teach you just how fast germs get around.
Rylie got to play with glitter, so she had fun with this. All you have to do is put glitter on your hand and then shake someone else's hand. This shows how easily germs can spread from person to person.
~*~Germs Multiply Fast~*~
No one likes getting sick. And what makes us sick? Gross, icky germs that are everywhere and difficult to avoid! This experiment demonstrates how fast germs multiply and reinforces the need to keep hands clean, especially when out and about during daily activities.
OK, so I don't have a video of this one for your viewing pleasure. This involved counting to 128, and after Rylie got past 20, she started goofing off with a pencil and an ink pad, so the video ended up being somewhat disastrous. I decided to take over the experiment and do this one myself.
This is an easy one, though. All you need is a sheet of paper, an ink pad and a pencil with an eraser. You fold the paper so that you have eight squares. Touch the pencil eraser to the ink pad and then to the first square in the paper, making one "germ dot". In each box, you double the amount of dots, and by the last box, you should have 128 "germ dots".
Imagine all these "germ dots" are actual germs on your hands. What this experiment shows is that it doesn't take long for germs to spread and multiply.
~*~Bread Can Be Food for You, or for Germs~*~
Germs are spread when droplets from a cough or sneeze travel through the air and reach people and surfaces nearby. Germs are also spread when you touch a contaminated surface and then touch your eyes, mouth or nose before washing your hands. When this happens, germs can get inside of us. To show you how germs can be picked up by hands from different things you touch throughout the day, try this fun experiment.
This experiment involved playing with dirt, so of course Rylie had fun with this one too. First Rylie played in the dirt and then touched a slice of bread. We put that slice of bread into a plastic bag with a wet paper towel to see how much mold would grow on it. She also touched a slice of bread after washing her hands with soap, and then another slice after cleaning her hands with a Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipe. We placed those slices in plastic bags with wet paper towels. The "dirty" piece of bread should grow more mold than the "clean" pieces of bread. The slices of bread have been set aside in a warm, dark place, and in a few days we will see the results of this experiment. Make sure you check back next week to hear all about it!
Think about it - if you eat a sandwich without washing your hands first, the germs on your hands will get on the bread in your sandwich, which means they will get inside you.
~*~Grow Your Own Germs~*~
Germs are everywhere - from the playground to a child's classroom desk to the family car. One way to teach kids about all the places they come into contact with germs during their daily lives and the importance of clean hands is to show them how to grow germs from all the things they touch with their hands, which you can do with this experiment.
This was my favorite experiment! First we made up these little gelatin cups to grow our germs on. (See the pdf download for all of the ingredients.) Then Rylie touched each cup. She touched the first cup with clean hands, the next three after touching various surfaces, and the last one after wiping her hands with a Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipe. The cups are now in a warm place, growing the germs. I have looked at them every day and you can already see the growth on the cups that were touched with dirty hands. This is a fun experiment that will definitely teach kids how disgusting germs are!
As you can see, we had fun conducting these experiments. They really show how germs are everywhere. And because a sink isn't always accessible, carry Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes with you when on-the-go. They kill 99.99% of germs and clean better than a gel hand sanitizer.
Visit the Wet Ones Healthy Hand Zone website for more information. You can watch videos of Bill Nye conducting these experiments and get the instructions so that you can create your own "Germ Lab". And make sure you check back next week to see the results from our experiments!
Disclaimer: Any opinions expressed in this review are my own, honest opinions. Energizer Personal Care provided the supplies and Flip UltraHD video camera for this review at no cost to me. This review is not being administered or sponsored in any way by Playtex or its affiliates, but solely by The Life of Rylie...and Bryce too!. Any questions or comments regarding this review must be sent to me at The Life of Rylie...and Bryce too! and not to Energizer Personal Care.