Creating a Germ-"Friendly" Visualization

With the onset of cold and flu season the subject of washing our hands often comes up. Here is an easy art activity for kids that uses plastic droppers and Colorations® Liquid Watercolor™ to bring the world of microorganisms to life. Usually by ages 3 to 4, children can have an effective discussion about germs. This can be a great way to begin to discuss the significance of how important it is to frequently wash their hands. This activity can be used as reinforcement for washing their hands by creating posters to be placed at the sink areas and on the bathroom door.

Regina Eardley Germ Friendly Post 1

Explain to the children that germs are so tiny that we cannot see them with our eyes. Ask your students what they think a germ looks like. If available, have your children look at germs under a microscope, showing them that you need special tools to be able to see a germ. Although the word ‘germ’ is appropriate for a young child to use, you may want to introduce children to the term “microorganism.” It helps build vocabulary and an understanding of the world around them.  For this activity you will need: Colorations® Liquid Watercolor™ (LW18), Real Watercolor Paper (MONET), Super Safe Plastic Droppers (SSD), Colorations® Fine Tip Super Washable Markers (FINECASE), Colorations® Washable Clear Glue (4GL), and Wiggly Eyes (WINK). I like the colored ones because it offers an opportunity to reinforce color knowledge. Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mats (TIDY) or a Cooperative Mural Art Sheet (LWMAT) work great to keep your work surface clean!

Regina Eardley Germ Friendly Post 2

What to do:

1. Spread a Cooperative Mural Art Sheet or Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mat on your work surface.

2. Let the students pull Colorations® Liquid Watercolor™ up in the plastic droppers by squeezing the ends. This is great for working on fine motor skills and practicing with important “pincher” skills used in grasping pencils for writing. Ask your students to guess what will happen when the watercolor hits the paper, providing an opportunity for predictions.

3. Next let the droplets of watercolor SPLAT onto your watercolor paper in random splatters. You will get some “ooohs” and “ahhhs” as the watercolor shapes form on the paper, and maybe even a few giggles.

Regina Eardley Germ Friendly Post 3

4. After allowing the paint to dry, use the clear glue to add the wiggly eyes of their choice.

5. Use the fine markers to create a mouth and even a nose if they choose.

Regina Eardley Germ Friendly Post 4

Alternate idea for older children:

6. Substitute BioColor® Paint or Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera Paint. After they have dropped the blobs of paint onto the paper, use straws to blow the blobs of paint out in all directions. Leave your blow paintings to dry. Once dry follow instructions above, beginning with Step Four.

After your “germs” are created, let each student give this new friend a name and have them create a story about where it came from and what it is doing. This gives the child an opportunity to practice verbal skills, participate in story-telling and participate in group cooperative listening skills. Children can also learn about the beginning, middle and end parts of a story. This activity will assist in creating a “visual” germ through a fun art process and it is great for improving eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills and for predicting outcomes.

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Materials you will need from Discount School Supply®: Colorations® Liquid Watercolor™ (LW18) Real Watercolor Paper - 50 sheets (MONET) Super Safe Plastic Droppers - set of 12 (SSD) Colorations® Fine Tip Super Washable Markers - set of 100 (FINECASE) Colorations® Washable Clear Glue - 4 oz bottle (4GL) Colored Wiggly Eyes - 1000 pieces (WINK) Keep-It-Clean Plastic Art Mats  - set of 6 (TIDY) BioColor® Paint - set of 11 (BIO16) Colorations® Simply Washable Tempera Paint - set of 11 (SWT16)