Sunday, December 12, 2010
Winter break is coming up; isn't that exciting? Your kids will be home from school so you'll be able to spend some time together. Lots and lots of time. Indoors. With them all hyped up with the sugar from the candy canes and cookies. And nothing to do.
Okay, that's not exactly the postcard perfect winter scene. If, like me, that thought is making you fight down feelings of panic, you might want to start lining up some crafts and activities to keep them busy.
Fear not, dear readers, you've come to the right place. Actually, this blog isn't the right place. The right place is the Wet Ones Healthy Hands Zone Germ Lab, an online resource from Wet Ones featuring some fun science experiments designed by Bill Nye the Science Guy™. Like all of Bill's experiments, these are fun and educational at the same time. This set of experiments shows how quickly germs can spread and how important it is to have clean, germ-free hands.
Wet Ones sent us a kit with everything we needed to perform all four experiments on the site, as well as a Flip video camera so we could capture the action. We did the experiments over Thanksgiving break, and we had so much fun that I have no hesitation in recommending the experiments and the site for your winter break. My kids adore Bill Nye (we have many of his Bill Nye the Science Guy™ episodes on DVD, and we actually met him once at a blogger event) so just knowing they were "his" experiments was enough to get them all fired up about trying them.
The experiments can be done by a wide range of ages; some are as simple as pouring glitter on your hands, and shaking hands with a friend:
Others involve cooking up some gelatinous chicken brew and leaving it under your stairs (or some other dark, damp place) to grow all kinds of disgusting-looking stuff on it:
All of them really show the kids how important it is to wash your hands (or wipe them with antibacterial wipes when you can't get to soap and water). Seeing green fuzzy stuff is a gross, but effective way to make the point, especially during this cold and flu season!
You can download the instructions for each experiment at The Germ Lab. Check it out and give your kids something to occupy their mind over the winter break.
Disclosure: I received a kit containing all the materials necessary to conduct the experiments as well as a Flip video camera so we could capture the action. I was not paid to review Wet Ones or the Healthy Hands Zone, or give my opinions. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.