How Clean Are Your Hands?

Everyone knows that washing your hands is really important. Before preparing or eating foods, after going to the toilet and even just when they get a little messy. But, how sure are you that you can wash your hands well enough to actually make them clean?

And are you sure you’re using the right things to make them clean?

Thats where this activity comes in.

How Clean Are Your Hands? is a fantastic way for kids to get some (literal) hands-on fun and learn at the same time. The activity uses fluorescent hand lotion which glows under ultraviolet light. We then have a range of products to investigate how well they can clean the hand lotion from our hands, including: the very commonly-used hand sanitiser, cold water, liquid soap and warm water.

How does this work?
The children apply the lotion to their hands, and have a look at the bright fluorescence on their hands under our UV light. Then they choose a method to wash them. When they return and have another look, they can pick out the areas and ways that the glowing lotion remains on their hands and fill out a little worksheet as a record. Then they can re-apply the lotion and choose another method until they’ve completely washed it off their hands.

This is a great opportunity to introduce the concept of the natural microbiota (the microbes that naturally live on our skin, and are very useful for us). But also, to talk about the ‘correct’ way we should all be washing our hands, and why that might be important (to manage the numbers of bad microorganisms, and stop infection).