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KS1 Horrid Hands

Hand hygiene has been shown to reduce the incidence of absenteeism in schools as good hand hygiene reduces the spread of microbes and infection. This introductory lesson explores the importance of handwashing, depicting how microbes are spread through touch. This lesson perfectly complements the Health and Prevention element of the new RSHE curriculum for primary aged children.

Last Updated: 17 November 2020 Medium English Antibacterial, Bacteria, Contagious, Harmful, Hygiene, Infected, Infectious, Micro-organism, Microbes, Transfer
  • Overview

What will you learn:

In this session, students will learn how microbes can spread through touch and that the best way to remove microbes and prevent them from spreading is by washing your hands with soap and water.

Activities include:

  • "Horrid hands" experiment to observe how microbes can spread from person to person by shaking hands
  • Activity that shows which handwashing method is best at removing microbes
  • "Horrid hands" facts sheets and quizzes to use in class
  • Sheets to colour in examples of clean and dirty hands

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand that infection can be spread through touch.
  • Understand that we can pick up microbes through things we touch and spread them to others.
  • Understand that we wash hands to remove microbes.
  • Understand that washing hands is the best way to prevent the spread of microbes.
  • Understand that washing with soap and water is better than using water alone.


  • Activity 1
  • Basin x2
  • Hand soap
  • Paper towels
  • Cold or warm water
  • Oil based Glo Gel and UV lamp or cooking oil and cinnamon
  • Kitchen roll
  • Bin liner
  • Activity 2
  • Small plastic bowls
  • Water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Pepper
  • Cocktail sticks

Curriculum Links:

  • Science: Working Scientifically, Living things and their habitats
  • English: Reading & Comprehension
  • RSHE: Health & Prevention
  • Design & Technology: Cooking & Nutrition
  • Art & Design: Drawing and painting ideas to share
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