The body, and how it works, and germs are always a big topic to talk about in our house. As we learn as best we can via interest-learning, we go with the flow. With the current situation around us we made a germ/body box to talk about it when we want or need to. For example, to answer questions like “Why do we have to eat? Or “Why are there good and bad germs in our body and around us?”
Books, puzzles, experiments, crafts and pretend-play helps our little ones to understand the world and how it works. For this topic we used a lot of lift-the-flap books because they are a firm favourite and allow us to explore a certain topic in a bit more detail.
Contents of the box
- Book - 'In meinem Koerper ist was los' - Dr. Med. Sybille Mottle-Link, Frederic Bertrand
- Book - 'Was ziehe ich heute an?' - Was ist das? Ullmann Medien GmbH
- Book - 'Vor dem Essen Haende waschen' - Usbourne
- Book - 'What is Poo?' - Usbourne
- 1 good germ ( DIY)
- Doll's bath
- Body puzzle
- Baby doll
- Towel for baby
- Pepper or other herbs
- Doll's potty
- Doll's clothes
I put some options together as, with our ASD daughter, nothing works for definite, so for us it is always a trial and error as to what works and what she enjoys. It depends on the mood she is in but also how messy the activities are and any potential smells which can put her off easily. In this case we use a mixture of German and English books to make it more incorporating for the whole family.
Good craft activities are DIY soap dough – makes washing hands a lot more fun.
You need the following for the DIY soap dough
- 100g cornflour
- 50 - 60ml shower gel or liquid soap
- A few drops of food colouring (only if you have clear shower gel or liquid soap)
- Cookie cutter
If you want to colour your liquid soap or shower gel, mix it first with some drops of food colouring then add the cornflower and mix it well. Put some cornflour on the work surface and roll out the dough. Then use the cookie cutter to cut out different shapes.
DIY bath crayons
- 1 bar of soap
- Food colouring
- Cheese grater
- Cookie cutter or silicon shapes
Use the fine edges of a cheese grater to powder the soap. Add some drops of food colouring and water and mix it well with a fork. We used silicon shapes and pressed some of the mixture in. Smoothe it out as much as possible and put it in the freezer for about an hour.
Make your own sock-germ
- Cotton wool
- Googly eyes
- Permanent marker
Fill the sock with cotton wool until it has the shape you want. Use your creativity to decorate to your heart's content. To avoid the disappointment that it doesn’t look as it should, we used a sock with a funny face already on it.
Know your body
Outline your child’s body (if they can lie down for 5 minutes!) and colour body parts in or decorate with body organs. We did a simple picture about how the food goes through our body, in the hope our food battle will be easier 😉
Experiment “germ vs soap”
- Herbs / spices
- Liquid soap
Take a bowl and fill it with water, add some herbs and let the children dip their fingers in. Watch and talk about what happened - the 'germs' (herbs) stuck to their fingers, didn't it?! Now try dipping another finger in soap first before the 'germs' bowl.
What cleans a coin the best?
- Coins, preferably dirty.
- Different liquids (water, soapy water, vinegar, or whatever the children want to test)
- Clear jars or glasses
Fill some clear containers with different liquids and put a coin in each glass. See what happens, check regularly if the coins have changed.
Paint your hands and see if cold or warm water or soap or no soap clean the hands the best.
Pretend play / Sensory play
Pretend play / sensory play is always a good way to practice what we learned and use our Imagination. A bowl or a doll’s bath and some toys (plastic animals or cars) or a doll and a bit of soap will keep the little ones entertained for a while. We use a cheap shower curtain to protect the floor from water spills and rough play.