Talking to young children about the concept of “germs” can be quite challenging! Preschoolers have a hard time conceptualizing things that they cannot experience through their senses. However, in this era when lives have been turned topsy turvy because of a global pandemic, the conversation about germs is difficult to put off!
The Germs Mini Unit has been designed to help you talk about germs with your 3-6 year olds in a non-scary way. I am making this pack available for free for my newsletter subscribers for a few weeks. Please scroll down to the bottom of the post for details on how to download. After that, it will be available in the Trillium Montessori Printables Shop for purchase.
This pack includes 17 activities. Some are more suitable for 3-4 year olds, and some are more appropriate for children who are a little bit older. Please take your child’s developmental readiness into consideration when deciding which of these activities to offer them.
What are germs anyway?
This mini unit includes a series of fact cards for common terms associated with “germs”. You may want to bind the cards together into a little book. Terms include:
- immune system
- healthcare worker
Black and white pages are also included for children to color and make their own book.
3-Part cards of the terms from the booklet are a great way to practice matching and vocabulary development.
Also included are two simple lesson plans to show children the importance of not spreading germs:
- How to blow your nose and discard the the tissue appropriately
- How easily germs can spread (using glitter for demonstration)
Washing Your Hands Can Make a Big Difference!
One of the best ways to stop the spread of germs is to wash hands properly. Talking about hand washing and hygiene is the most appropriate activity for younger children. They may not understand germs yet, but they can understand hand washing… and they can feel empowered by taking action!
This mini unit includes the following:
- A hand-washing poster for children to color
- A simple song that can be sung while washing hands for 20 seonds
- Hand washing sequence cards and a little book
Stop the Infection! Game
This is a fun little board game that children of all ages will enjoy. It’s a great way to reinforce the simple actions that children can take to prevent the spread of germs. You can use pompoms or beans or raisins (or the provided cutouts) for germs. Roll the die and move around the board. If you land on a heart, pick a card and add or remove germs from the board based on the activity.
Simple Preschool Activities
We have included a few simple activities for young preschoolers to practice a range of skills including:
- Category sorting (tools or people)
- Matching shadows
- Matching pictures of viruses and bacteria
- Cutting skills
- Sorting pictures by size
- Who am I? riddles for oral language development
Math and Language
Also included are a couple of simple math and language activities
- 0-10 number clip cards
- “Roll-a-germ” addition board: Roll the dice to see how many germs to add to the board.. then add them together and record on the recording sheet.
- Reading sentences
- Story prompts
For children who are 6+ and can understand the concept of a virus, there is also a simple sequencing activity showing how a virus replicates inside a cell.
How to get the Germs Mini Unit
This mini unit is available for free for Trillium Montessori newsletter subscribers for a few weeks. To join the newsletter list, please enter your name and email below. Check your inbox for a confirmation email containing the download link. (Note: if you are already a subscriber, please go ahead and fill out the form below! Don’t worry, you won’t be double-subscribed! I will not be adding this printable to the Resource Library.)
Social Distancing and More
This mini unit does not cover social distancing. I recommend the following resources as a supplement to the germs mini unit:
- COVID-19 Time Capsule by Natalie Long of Long Creations
- Why Are We Staying Home? A Free Ebook for Children by Angie Ma of Follow the Child Montessori
- My New Normal – A story for children to express their feelings about Covid-19 by Karit Bolt and Paula Beckerman
This is a great video from Butterly Garden Preschool about germs and hand washing
Seemi holds a Master's degree in education, and an AMS Early Childhood credential. She has twenty years of experience in Montessori as a teacher, school administrator, and school owner. Seemi is the founder of TrilliumMontessori.org.