Use this free STEM printable to let your child play a fun microscope game while they are pretending to be a scientist! Perfect for preschool to elementary science programs, this is a fun, safe, and creative way to introduce the world of microbes to a child. It’s basically using a drinking glass to see through murky water to visualize the “microbes” below. I first saw this activity on the Instagram account of happicrafts.com (@happi_crafts) and knew I had to make a microscope version. The set up is simple and this can be combined with several other activities outlined below to keep them engaged and curious. The printable contains microbe illustrations from Baby Medical School: Bacteria and Antibiotics, an adorable introduction to the microscopic world.
- Clear plastic bin (or glass casserole dish if you dare)
- Drinking glass
- Water with suds or paint mixed in to make it opaque
- Baby Medical School: Bacteria printable
- Print out the bacteria printable
- Place it under the clear plastic bin.
- Fill the bin about an inch with water then mix a little tempera paint mixed in so the water becomes opaque. White paint plus any other color worked the best to make it cloudy for us.
- Add a clear, flat bottomed drinking glass to the bin. You should be able to slide the glass around to find the various bacteria.
- Describe what bacteria and microscopes are to your kid (see below), then let them at it!
How to explain bacteria and microscopes to your kids: Bacteria are tiny, itsy bitsy things that we can’t see with our eye but are very important. We have bacteria all over us and inside us. Sometimes we get a bad bacteria that makes us sick, but usually the bacteria that live with us work with our body to keep us healthy. There are also bacteria all around us, both indoors and outdoors. Scientist study bacteria to learn how they work, how some can make us sick, and how some can help us. A microscope is an important tool scientists use to study bacteria. It helps them see the tiny little things to learn more about them.
Ways to Play
- Start playing after you read Bacteria and Antibiotics (Baby Medical School), available on Amazon!
- Just have them search around a see what they find!
- Make a game out of it and take turns closing your eyes and sliding the cup somewhere. If you land on a good bacteria (happy faces), you get a point. If you land on a bad bacteria (angry face), you don’t get a point.
- Set up some cups in another bin next to this one with watered-down paint that they can color mix, suds, or even vinegar and baking soda to play and experiment with. Then have them dump their concoction into the bacteria discovery bin to pretend to check it with the microscope.
- Have them describe the features of the bacteria they see (colors, spots, etc)
Copy and save this JPG! Please feel free to use this for personal use but please contact me if you would like to distribute it. Enjoy!