Cover Your Mouth – Germ Science

How to use glowing germs to teach health

Whether we like to believe it or not, we live in a world filled with germs, bacteria, viruses, and other creepy crawly things. It is hard to teach kids about germs when you can't see them, but what if kids could see simulated germs on their hands and anything they touch?

Experiment Materials

  • Glitter Bug Lotion
  • Black lights (mini or large sizes)


  1. Pump one to two pumps of germ lotion on the children’s hands.
  2. Have the children rub their hands together, making sure to get the backs, palms, and fingernails.
  3. Turn on the black light and have the children put their hands under the light to see the simulated germs.
  4. Have the children wash their hands as they would normally.
  5. Put the children’s hands back under the black light.
  6. Did they wash off all the germs? Could they have been a little more thorough with their washing?
  7. Glitter Bug Lotion will help you teach your children better hand-washing techniques… repeat the experiment until the lotion doesn’t show up on little hands after washing!

Now Try This!

  1. Before your students come to class in the morning, squirt one to two pumps of Glitter Bug Lotion on your hands.
  2. Continue through the day as you normally would… touching students, books, materials, even washing your hands.
  3. Near the end of the day, explain to the students that you are going to show them how germs spread from one person to another.
  4. Flip the lights off and turn your black light on. No one will believe their eyes as they see all of the places the lotion residue has landed during the day!

How Does It Work?

The Glitter Bug Lotion is an amazing way to simulate for children the importance of proper hand-washing techniques and how easily germs can spread around the room. After just one day, you’ll have Glitter Bug Lotion residue all over your classroom… now imagine how many germs are living in there!