pepper germs experiment

1-2-3 Come Do A Pepper "Germs" Experiment With Me

Here's a quick, easy & super-fun little experiment you can do with your kiddos.

It's sure to have them saying, "Can we do it again!"

pepper germs and soap experiment about surface tensionI've compiled this activity in a FREE packet, so that you can easily duplicate and extend the lesson.

As parents and teachers we are constantly reminding children to wash their hands, especially now since the Corona virus crisis.

Children look at their hands and don’t really “see” any germs, so if they can’t see anything on their hands, they naturally conclude that their hands must not really be dirty, so why bother washing.

pepper germs & soap experiment, personal hygiene activitiesExplaining to youngsters, that unlike dirt, germs are invisible helps; but when you give kiddos a “visual” of how germs literally flee when they come into contact with soap, you're zeroing in on the importance of hand washing in a dramatic way.

When I was in school, “surface tension” was explained to us with a “pepper experiment”. The result of the demonstration is truly amazing, and provides the perfect illustration for “germs fleeing soap”.

This experiment has the “Wow!” factor, while still being super-simple, plus you have all of the ingredients at home.

Pepper Experiment IngredientsYou’ll need:

  * ground pepper
  * a bowl or plate
  * a cup of water,
  * a paper plate,
  * a tissue and
  * some dish soap.

You can also use a measuring cup instead of a plastic cup to hold your water. Because a measuring cup has a handle, this could be easier for little ones to hold on to.

pepper soap experiment pixI used a 1/2 cup of water to spill onto an 8" paper plate, then when I switched to a glass bowl to see if the container made any difference, (it didn't) I used 1 cup of water to pour into the bowl.

Watch my VIDEO for specifics, then use the FREE packet for your finishing touches.

Video LINK:

I’ve included my "script" plus the poster, so you can use it in your own demonstration. There’s a black & white version for children to color as well.

germ blasting soap postersFor younger kiddos, end with the “poster summary” of the importance of washing your hands; leaving it at that.

However, to extend the lesson for older students, have them look up the definition of surface tension, then for writing practice, as well as some data analysis, have students fill in the “Here’s What Happened” worksheet, keeping in mind their findings about surface tension.

heres what happened data analysis worksheetThe worksheet could also be done as a whole group activity.
I’ve included a surface tension explanation, which you can also share with them.

If your students are like mine, they are extremely interested, and excited about doing hands-on science, so run with it. For added fun, and further exploration you can use the “Does It Make a Difference?” extension activity

For example, “Does it make a difference if you use another spice other than pepper; hot or cold water; or a different container?” etc.

I’ve done all these additional “extras” & include my findings, along with photographs in the FREE packet.

germ fighter doorknob craft boyFinally, just for fun, there’s also an “I’m a germ-blasting super soaper!” craftivity.

Children color, cut & hang on their doorknob.

germ fighter girl doorknob hangerThere is a set of "doorknobbers" for superhero boys, as well as a set for superhero girls.

pepper germs experiment, explaining surface tension with a pepper experiment, personal hygiene activities, doorknob hanger craftWell that's it for today.  Thanks for stopping by.

I sincerely hope you find these activities useful.

Wishing you a safe & healthy week.

"Always remember: You are BRAVER than you believe, STRONGER than you seem, SMARTER than you think, and LOVED more than you know." - A. A. Milne