Friday, February 2, 2018

Flannel Friday - Wash Those Germs Away

Unfortunately, I have no storytime post for today as I've had to cancel for the second time this month due to illness, this time for the flu, despite having had the vaccine 😩. But I thought this would be a perfect time to share this flannel with Flannel Friday instead.

All The Little Germs Flannel Rhyme

All The Little Germs

I was inspired to make this by seeing Library Quine's version, but wanted to take it a step further. First of all, I wanted to use two hands to show both front and back surfaces, and to be able to show more than one skin tone (when we get more flannel I plan to make several hands in multiple tones to mix it up). I used some free clip-art for the hand pattern, scaling it up or down as desired.

Then, being a former microbiologist, I wanted the germs to be loosely representational of actual germs, rather than identical amorphous blobs. I would like to say that I chose to do so for more variety and visual interest, and that is part of it, but mostly because I'm a science nerd. But I did relent on my usual insistence of scientific accuracy by giving them googly eyes, because googly eyes just make everything more fun, right?

[In case you are wondering, the germs I made (starting at the top and going down the left column, then down the right) are supposed to represent: Streptococcus (strep throat, pneumonia, scarlet fever), Staphylococcus (skin and wound infections), Rhinovirus (common cold), Vibrio (cholera, foodborne illnesses), E. coli (diarrhea), Neisseria (meningitis), Enterovirus (polio; hand, foot & mouth disease), Salmonella (gastroenteritis), Enterococcus (UTI, meningitis), and Influenza virus (flu).]

So, first start with all the germs on the hands, making sure there is at least one to go with each verse of the rhyme (also from Library Quine, with slight adaptation), then remove the appropriate one(s) after each verse:

Flannel & Rhyme about germs and hand washing

All The Little Germs

All the little germs, dirty and mean,   (make disgusted face) 

Hiding on your palms,   (point) 

Where they cannot be seen.   (shake head)

Wash them, scrub them,   (pretend to wash hands)

Rinse them away!   (wipe hands, remove germ(s) from board)

Then we'll have clean hands,   (hold hands up)

Hip, hip, hooray!    (jazz hands)

In the subsequent verses, remove the germs that are hiding between your fingers, on the backs of your hands, on your thumbs, under your nails, and on your wrists.

All the Little Germs, Flannel activity about hand washing
(Click to view larger)

After each verse, ask the audience if our hands are clean yet, though they will probably love telling you that they are not as long as any germs are left, without any prompting! Finally, all the germs are washed away and our hands are clean!

I do mention in very general terms what some of the germs cause, like cold, flu, rash, stomachache, fever, etc., but nothing too graphic or specific at this age.

I also found some other songs and rhymes related to handwashing and germs that could possibly go along with this, perhaps with some slight modification or additional flannel pieces, at the links below:

You can also visit the write-up of my "Don't Share Your Germs!" storytime to see some good books to pair with the flannel, as well as a simple activity to demonstrate how easily germs are spread.

To see more Flannel Friday posts from other bloggers, go to this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up hosted by Lisa at LibrarylandVisit the Flannel Friday Pinterest Board for past Round-Up's and tons of inspiration. For more information about Flannel Friday and how to participate, visit the Flannel Friday site.


  1. Those germs are adorable!
    I've been making a "dirty hands can get you sick" disclaimer after the "But do not let them in" part of open shut them.

    Love the use of jazz hands.

    1. Thanks, I thought they were kinda cute myself :)

      I have to confess, I have never used that "Open, Shut Them" rhyme because it just creeps me out for some reason, LOL!

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

  2. Thank you for your flannelboard! I made a similar one with amorphous blobs and am now wishing that I had made more scientifically accurate germs! Maybe next time! :)