Having clean hands helps stop the spread of illnesses. You are probably experts by now but here is another quick look at how to wash your hands properly - 

When should you clean your hands?  Always...

  • After you use the toilet
  • After touching animals 
  • Before you eat
  • After playing outside

  1. Wet your hands with warm water and squirt on some soap.
  2. Rub your hands together until the soap is nice and bubbly.
  3. Rub the top of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails.
  4. Don't forget your thumbs and the backs of your hands.
  5. Do this for at least 20 seconds
  6. Rinse your hands under running water.
  7. Dry your hands with a clean towel or paper towel.

safefood Ireland have a little song that they recommend you sing when you wash your hand to remember what to do.  You could probably sing it two or three times in 20 seconds depending how fast you sing. It's sung to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat - 

Wash, wash, wash your hands,
Thumbs and fingers too,
Rinse and then make sure they’re dry,
That’s the thing to do!

Here's a video of Rufus the monster to guide you through it. 

Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn

Great Glitter Germ Experiments

In these experiments glitter will represents germs and we will test three things -  

1) How well you wash your hands. 

2) How germs can spread. 

3) If germs like soap

Experiment 1 – To show how effective your hand washing is.

  1. Rub some moisturiser on your hands and then sprinkle your hands with a pinch of glitter and rub your hands together.  Your hands are now covered in "germs". 
  2. Wash your hands the way you normally would before you learned how to do it properly e.g. just a bit of a rinse. 
  3. Did you get much glitter off?
  4. Now wash your hands the way Múinteoir John has shown you and you should see that you get far more glitter off.  
  5. So which way of washing your hands is more effective at washing away germs?

Experiment 2 – To Show how germs spread

  1. Put some moisturiser on your hands.
  2. Put a pinch of the glitter germs on your hands and put your hands together.  
  3. The germs have now spread to your other hand. 
  4. Shake hands with some of your family and touch a few surfaces and things around the house.  See who and what gets infected by your glitter germs.
  5. You see how easy it is to spread germs! You can't see real germs because they are so small, that’s why we must wash our hands often, even if we can’t see any dirt or germs. 

Experiment 3 – To Show how germs hate soap

What you will need – A bowl, water, glitter (pepper works well too), liquid soap

  1. Fill a bowl with water
  2. Sprinkle some glitter on the water.  It should float on the surface. 
  3. Dip a finger into the middle of the bowl.  Does anything happen?
  4. Now dip the tip of your finger into some soap and then into the middle of the bowl. What happens?

Result:  When you dip your finger into the bowl of germs with no soap nothing much happens, except you might get some germs on your finger. 

When you dip your finger into the bowl of germs with soap on your finger the germs should quickly run away from it.

Conclusion: You need soap to get rid of germs, water alone does not work


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Send us pictures or videos of what you have done. Ask your parents to help you send them to rte.ie/learn