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Track that sneeze

darren-reindeer-hand-dec-08-fortHere’s a tip I just received from the great folks at about teaching young children to cut down on the spread of germs. This works well in a classroom setting, a family gathering or if you are having a playgroup at your home over the holidays. Sprinkle a large amount of baby powder into one student’s hands and have him/her pretend to sneeze into those hands. Explain to the class that the powder is the “germs” that have come out with the sneeze. Let the person who “sneezed” pass out one sheet of black paper to each student. (There should be traces of powder from the student’s hands on the sheets of black paper.) Point out that this is how germs from a sneeze spread to hands and then to other objects: paper, door knobs, and so on. Go on to explain that if a person sneezes into his/her elbow, experts say that many fewer germs are spread. Demonstrate sneezing into your elbow and help children practice this technique.  To sign up to receive your very own copy of the Early Childhood Education newsletter go to

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