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How to Play the Germ Magnet Game

Use this fun germ spreading game to teach kids the importance of washing their hands. Perfect for the Wolf Cub Scout adventure, Germs Alive.

germ spreading game for cub scouts

Handwashing.  How boring is that?  Especially since most of the kids I know hate to wash their hands.  But it gets fun when you play the Germ Magnet game!

In 2020, it's especially important to wash our hands frequently to help curb the spread of the viruses such as COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control has some cool posters that help raise awareness of the importance of handwashing.

wash hands with soap

Plus, it fulfills two requirements for our Wolf Cub Scouts in the Cub Scout Adventure program. What better way to complete an adventure than with glitter?

Wolf Required Adventure –  Call of the Wild 5c:  Show or demonstrate what to do to keep from spreading your germs.

Wolf Elective Adventure – Germs Alive! 2:  Play Germ Magnet with your den.  Wash your hands again afterward.

germ magnet game for cub scouts

There are several ways you can play the germ magnet game. This version of the game is a little more involved than the one in the Wolf Handbook.  Playing this way will show that you need to wash with soap and water to get rid of germs.

The game is messy and best done outside, but it's fun.  The germ spreading activity will teach kids how germs can spread from person to person and why hand washing is so important.

You'll need glitter, preferably a different color for each Scout.  This inexpensive sampler pack would work great!

Remember when I suggested that you do this outside?  That's why.  🙂

Tell the Scouts that the glitter is like germs.  Sprinkle a small amount of glitter onto each kid's hands. 

Use a different color for each person.  Have them rub their hands together then start high-fiving or shaking hands with each other.

germ spreading activity

After a few minutes, have the Scouts look at their hands to see what colors of glitter they have collected.  This shows how germs can easily spread.

To remove the glitter, have them rub their hands on a paper towel.  Point out that some of the glitter will come off, but they will still have glitter on their hands.

rubbing hands on paper towel

Next, ask the Cub Scouts to wash their hands with just cold water.  More of the glitter comes off, but not all of it. 

child washing hands

Finally, have them wash with warm water and soap.  They can see that this is the best way to get rid of the glitter germs.  Talk about how important it is to use warm water and soap.

hand washing for kids

You can also do this germ spreading game without having the kids shake hands. This method is perfect for just one or two kids.

Instead, sprinkle the glitter on a common object that they might use–a ruler, for example. Have them pick up the ruler and measure something.

germs games

Next, have them pick up a pencil and write a few words on a piece of paper.

Then have someone else (another child or adult) pick up the pencil then look at their hands. Talk about how the germs were spread to another object and another person.

germ spreading game for cub scouts video
Click over to check out the full video!

Have you played a different version of the Germ Magnet game? Tell us about it in the comments!

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. Sign up below for more fun Wolf Cub Scout activities!

germ magnet game


Monday 11th of March 2024



Monday 11th of March 2024



Friday 1st of March 2024



Saturday 13th of January 2024


Wolf Adventure Germs Alive! Correction - Cub Scout Ideas

Sunday 19th of December 2021

[…] Check out the germ magnet game!  It's also a Germs Alive! […]

Caterina Kisling

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

Can I please get a printable copy?


Wednesday 13th of March 2024


Sherry Smothermon-Short

Thursday 1st of October 2020

Unfortunately, I don't have a printable for this. so sorry!