We’ve all learnt a lot more about washing our hands in the last few weeks with the outbreak of the coronavirus.
But getting kids to understand why we need to keep washing all the time can be difficult.
One teacher has found a really visual way to explain to kids what washing your hands actually does, using something most people have in their store cupboard – black pepper.
Amanda Lorenzo is a pre-kindergarten teacher in Miami and her video of her pepper trick has gone viral on Instagram.
She ground some black pepper into a shallow dish of water to represent a virus.
She then asked one of her students to dip her finger in the pepper water and asks her class if they see anything move.
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Learning about the importance of washing our hands!? I wish you all could’ve seen how truly shocked they were that the “virus,” (pepper) moves away from the soap! So much fun and very informative! The things you learn from #TikTok ? #prekactivities #coronaviruspreventiontips #dabbooratnani
They all agree that it doesn’t move but she shows the kids that some of the pepper is stuck to the girl’s finger.
She then asks the girl to dip her finger in a little soap and when she puts it back in the water, the pepper moves to the other side of the dish and away from her finger.
Amanda said: ‘Learning about the importance of washing our hands. I wish you all coukld’ve seen how truly shocked they were that the “virus” (pepper) moves away from the soap.
‘So much fun and very informative!’
She’s not the first one to use the trick – Professor Lucy Rogers from Bruel University in London went viral with the idea on TikTok earlier in the week, but Amanda’s video shows how useful it can be to help kids realise why we need to wash our hands.
She told Today: ‘I was really just doing this to show the importance of washing your hands, whether this happens with the coronavirus.
‘The rest of the day — after everything obviously, after going to the bathroom, after we came back from lunch, before going to lunch, after going to the playground — they were like, ‘We need to wash our hands!’ It was a constant thing for the rest of the day.’
You can try the experiment with your kids at home too, with just water, pepper, two dishes and a little soap.
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