Activities at Home #2b: Handwashing Diary (Grade 1 – 6)

Greetings Museum of Health Care Friends! In light of ongoing efforts to limit the transmission of COVID-19, this activity has been modified from the original version for offsite, home use. (Normally, this activity is completed as part of the “Snot & What Not” education program offered at the Museum of Healthcare at Kingston.)

Learning Outcomes:

Students will learn the importance of frequent handwashing by contrasting the production of mold on an object exposed to bacteria present on their hands throughout the course of a typical day, compared to the rate of mold production on an object exposed to recently washed hands. Students will also learn the importance of tracking the frequency of handwashing throughout their day-to-day routines.

Pre-Activity: What are Germs?

While you patiently wait for your mold to grow over the next 2 weeks, put your handwashing skills to the test with a handwashing diary! Each day of the week, draw a star in the box for that day every time you wash your hands before eating of after using the washroom.

Activity: Handwashing Diary!

Supplies Your Will Need

  • 1 piece of white or color paper (use whatever size paper you want)
  • 1 ruler
  • Markers or coloring pencils
  • Put your artist cap on and have fun! Use stickers, foam and stick on letters or any other supplies you have to make your diary unique to you!


1) Gather your piece of paper, ruler and markers

2) Use your ruler to trace 8 vertical lines spaced evenly on the page. Make sure you leave enough room at the top of your page to write the name of your handwashing diary, and leave enough room on the left side of the page for later, (see the picture below for the activity example).

3) Starting from the top of your vertical lines, use your ruler to trace 5 horizontal lines to make your chart, (see the picture of chart paper below for an example).

3) Using your ruler, keep tracing your horizontal lines on the far-left side of your chart out a few more centimeters. This will make word boxes for later.

4) Starting at the top of the first box on the top left of your chart, write the days of the week across all 7 boxes to the right like you would see in a calendar.

5) Starting from the top of the word boxes going down the left of your chart write “Before Breakfast” in the top box. Next write “Before Lunch” in the second top box. Then write “Before Dinner” in the next box below that. Then write “After Using the Bathroom” in the bottom 2 boxes.

6) Be creative! Write the words “Handwashing Diary” next to your name in the space leftover at the top of your page, and decorate your handwashing diary as much as you want!

So What’s Next?

As each day goes by for the next 2 weeks, find the current day of the week on your chart and write a star or checkmark in the box that you actually washed your hands that day using the boxes on the left. If you remember to wash your hands after using the washroom on Monday, put a star in that box. But if you forgot to wash your hands before eating dinner on Monday, leave that box empty.

After 2 weeks, see if you can remember to wash your hands without using the chart!

Need Help? Here’s our example!

Explore similar education activities, discover highlights of museum artefacts, and sign up for an onsite education program by clicking the link here!

About the Authour

Meaghan McDougald

(Public Programs Assistant, Summer 2020)

Meaghan recently completed an undergraduate degree in history at Queen’s University, with plans to return to Queen’s in the fall to begin her Bachelor’s of Education! Her main areas of interest include the history of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, and the history of psychiatric medicine. Meaghan’s experience of quarantine during the COVID19 pandemic has allowed her to expand her cooking skills, and discover the many hiking locations that Kingston and the surrounding region has to offer.

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