Germ Basics


Mode: Experimentation

Time: 20 min


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.

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

Activity: 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!

Germ Basics

Exponential Growth

Mode: Experimentation

Time: 15 min


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!

Do a lot of people have it?

Activity: 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.

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