Germ Basics

Why are we all stuck inside?

Questions and Activities Related To Germ Basics

Our favorite:

Activity 5: Build your own mask


Activities for Movement

Activities for Creativity

What is a virus?

That’s a tough question! There are a lot of different types of germs, but a virus usually...


Is really small but has a funky shape

(Activity 1 - Corona crown)


Jumps from people who are near each other

(Activity 2 - The virus jumps!)

Can transfer across different types of animals

(Activity 3 - Contaminato)


Can infect people and make them feel sick

(Activity 4 - The Wiggle Bug)


Gets in your body through your nose or mouth

(Activity 5 - Block it out)

Do a lot of people have it?

(Activity 6 - Exponential growth)


What is the coronavirus? 

Coronavirus is a new kind of germ that is traveling around the world and making people sick.  Can you say coronavirus?  


Here's a hint. It's 2 words put together: Corona (which means crown in Spanish) and Virus (a type of germ that's tough to stop and causes the cold and flu).  


A germ is something that is reeeeeally tiny, but it can make people feel very sick. 

The coronavirus has its name because when you look through a microscope, the germ has spikes that make it look like a crown, or corona. 

Activity: A corona crown

Mode: Art

Time: 20 min

What is the coronavirus?

1. A corona crown

What You Need

Two pieces of paper



Crayons or markers


Stickers/other decorations


Tape or glue 

How To Play

1. Design and cut out your corona crown. Use our crown pattern below as a guide, or make your own similar design.

2. Decorate your corona crown in Spanish! Use some crayons or stickers to decorate your corona crown with jewels, shapes, and lots of different colors.  


3. Practice saying the colors of your corona crown in Spanish:


Gold = Dorado (Doh-rah-doh)

Blue = Azul (Ah-sool)

Green = Verde (Vehr-day)

Red = Rojo (Roh-hoh)

Yellow = Amarillo (Ah-mah-ree-yoh) 

Purple = Morado (Moh-rah-doh)

Pink = Rosado (Roh-sah-doh)

Basic Crown Template

Advanced scissor skills Template

Keep the fun going:

Design corona crowns for all the members of your family

Practice the colors in Spanish around the house

Pretend to be a favorite character who wears a crown 

Parental guidance: If your kid doesn’t know what a microscope is, use a camera’s zoom function or binoculars to show them how different types of machines can help you see things bigger and smaller.

Why are we all stuck inside?

Are you wondering why we’re all staying inside all the time?  


All your friends are inside with their families, too.    


People all around the world are staying inside their houses.  


We’re staying inside to stay far away from other people to help stop the spread of coronavirus. 

Activity: The virus jumps!

Mode: Movement

Time: 5 min


Why are we all stuck inside?

2. The virus jumps!

What You Need

1 grown up and 1 kid


1 ball 

How To Play

1.  Stand right in front of each other, with the grown-up holding the ball


2. Pass the ball back and forth -- it’s easy right?!

3. Count how many times you can pass it back and forth

4. After 2 (or how ever many times is fun), take a step back away from each other

5. Now pass the ball again -- is it still easy?

6. Keep taking steps back and passing the ball

7. Once you’re so far away you can’t pass it successfully, you’ve answered the question!

This is why we want to stay away from each other. If someone has the virus, it can jump from them to someone else near them. The farther away we are from each other, the harder it is for the virus to reach us. 

Parental guidance: After you’ve finished the ball exercise, encourage your kid to jump like a virus.  Put a piece of tape on the floor and see how far each member of the family can jump. Repeat each day! 

Where did the coronavirus come from? How did it start? 

Nobody is exactly sure where the coronavirus came from and how it started, but scientists think that a bat had the coronavirus first. 


The bat had the virus in its body, but it may not have gotten sick from it.


Then the bat came into contact with other animals and even humans that never had the coronavirus. But it makes humans sick.


Viruses don’t live long. They make copies of themselves and jump from one animal to another, looking for new places to live. 


But scientists can make a cure that keeps us safe from the virus.

Activity: Contaminato

Mode: Experimentation

Time: 20 min


Where did the coronavirus come from? How did it start?

3. Contaminato

What You Need

Quantities vary by group size:


A tomato

Tomato sauce

Whatever else you want to put in your pasta (veggies, etc)

A large saucepan with a tight fitting lid

Masking tape (optional)

How To Play

We’re going to make our lunch/dinner with this activity!

1. Start boiling water for pasta

2. Cut the top off your tomato and ask your kid to hollow it out using a spoon.


3. When you finish it should look like a Jack-o-lantern without a face.


4. The tomato is the virus “host”--like the bat!


5. Heat up your tomato sauce and prepare any other ingredients that are going in your pasta


6. Boil and drain the pasta


7. Transfer the pasta and other veggies to a new saucepan (to avoid burning little fingers) 


8. Fill your hollow tomato with as much sauce as will fit in it. 


9. Put the tomato “host” with its sauce “virus” into the saucepan with the pasta. Make sure the lid is on tight and seal it with tape if desired.


10. Now have your kid shake it up!  


11. Open the lid.  What happened? The virus came out of the host and infected all the pasta and vegetables! Kind of like the bat that came into contact with other animals.

12. Add as much additional sauce as you’d like and have dinner!

What does it mean to be infected? 

An infection means that something that isn’t supposed to be in your body is in there.  


Different infections cause different reactions (we call these symptoms).  


If you fall down and scrape your knee, and you don’t keep the scrape clean, it could get infected. The infection on your knee might turn red.


Some infections, like the coronavirus, can pass from one person to another. So if one person has a cough, and they pass the virus to another person, that person might start coughing, too.      

Activity: The Wiggle Bug

Mode: Movement

Time: 10 min


What does it mean to be infected? 

4. The Wiggle Bug

What You Need



This is a good activity to do with all the people stuck inside with you. 

How To Play

Let’s show what it looks like to pass the bug!


1. Clear a big space and move anything easily breakable away. 


2. Gather your players--everyone in the house!


The first wiggle bug:


3. One grown-up starts the game: Make up a movement--something easy to copy, like wiggling your hips, and as you move, say “I’ve got the Wiggle Bug!

4. Now everyone else, try to stay away from the Wiggle Bug as it tries to catch everyone in the family.

5. When the wiggle bug touches someone else, that person should start wiggling too. All of the wigglers can now catch other members of the family until the whole group is wiggling.


6. Wiggle around the room! Count to 10 and then someone new is the Wiggle Bug.


The new wiggle bug


7. The new Wiggle Bug has to make up a new move (disco arms, jazz hands, hula dancing are all good options). 

8. Once everyone has had a turn to be the Wiggle Bug, turn on a favorite song and dance along. When the song is over the game is over!

Join in the fun! 

It's almost a manicure! Right!?

And you used to pay to work out!

Why are people wearing masks?

People are wearing masks to cover their nose and their mouth.  


You use your nose to breathe and smell things, and when you do that, you can breathe in air that might have the virus in it.  


You use your mouth to eat and breathe too. You could also eat something that the virus might have touched.    


So when people are near each other, they cover their nose and mouth with a mask so they don’t breathe air with the virus in it and so the virus doesn’t enter their body. 

Activity: Block it out!

Mode: Art + Imagination

Time: 15 min crafting + playtime


Why are people wearing masks?

5. Block it out!

What You Need

An old t-shirt

(Size 3T works great for our 1.5-4.5 year old testers)

Decorating materials (optional)

How To Play

How To Play

Make your mask:


1. Grown-up, help your kid cut out their mask from the old t-shirt using our guide below. This is obviously a toy, not a medical implement. 

2. Decorate the mask with stickers or markers


3. Put it on! Make sure it’s covering your kid's nose and your mouth.


4. What does it feel like to wear the mask? 


Experiment with your mask:


5. Snacktime: Try eating your snack without moving your mask away from your mouth.  What a silly idea!  Why didn’t that work?


[Because the food won’t be able to get through your mask!]  Your food is too big to squeeze through the mask, like most viruses.

6. Funky smells: Collect 2-3 things that have strong smells (coffee? An orange slice? Spices like rosemary?) and bring them to the table. 


7. Smell each of them without your mask.  Is it easy to smell them? 


8. Now put your mask back on. Try smelling them again. Is it easier or harder to smell the smells?

1. Lay t-shirt flat

2. Cut off sides

3. Unfold

4. Cut

5. Tie on

Smells can sneak through. Can you see a smell? They’re kind of like germs--invisible! So masks aren’t total protection--some things can still get through them. ​ But masks are still important--they help keep people safe from a lot of things that can't get through!

Parental guidance: Once the mask is on, milk it!  Maybe your kid is a pirate now? Maybe they want to create a pirate outfit to go with the mask?

Do a lot of people have it? 

The virus is spreading so fast because people can give it to each other very easily.  


Someone who has the virus can easily give it to two other people.


When someone new gets the virus, they can get sick also.  


Let’s try an experiment to see how much the coronavirus spreads!

Activity: Exponential growth

Mode: Experimentation

Time: 15 min


Do a lot of people have it?

6. Exponential growth

What You Need


A writing utensil (optional)

How To Play

1. Grown-up places post-its/stickers/pieces of tape all around the windows/walls of one room. (5-7 stickers is a good number to start with, depending on how high your kid can count) 

2. Look, these are all the people who have the virus.

3. Now, let’s say each of them give the virus to two more people.

4. Put two post-its right next to each patient that got infected.


5. Now let’s say each of THEM give the virus to two MORE people.

[Repeat exercise]

6. Now count up all the post-its (if you want to have your kid practice writing their numbers they can label each post-it)...There are so many!  When we started, there were only __ people with the virus.  But now there are __! That’s why it’s important to stop even one person from giving the virus to his friends. 


Secondary activity: curing people

7. Have your kid run around to each cluster, draw a shape on each post-it to “cure” it (skip if you’re nervous your kid’s going to write on the wall), and then pick up each post-it and bring them back to the grown-up. Set a timer.

Let’s see how fast you can do it!

The virus can spread very quickly and make a lot of people sick very fast!  That’s why we’re all staying inside.

That's all for now!

Keep repeating these activities until you’re allowed to go back outside! Any great inspiration for new activities or questions we haven’t answered, please send them our way on Instagram @whyareweallstuckinside or to! Tag us in your photos and share our kit with your friends.

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