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KS2: Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is one of the single most effective things children can do support preventing the spread of infection.

By taking part in a classroom experiment students learn how microbes can spread from one person to another through touch and why it is important to wash hands properly.

Scroll down for more information and to download the resources.

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Learning objectives
All students will:
  • Understand that infection can be spread through unclean hands
  • Understand that handwashing can prevent the spread of infection
  • Understand when and how to wash hands
Most students will:
  • Understand why we should use soap to wash our hands
  • Understand that washing hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of microbes
Background Information

Our hands are naturally covered by useful bacteria. However, we can pick up harmful microbes from the things we touch. Hand hygiene is possibly the single most effective way of reducing and preventing the spread of these microbes and any associated infection.

Schools and community groups are a relatively crowded and closed environment where microbes can spread easily and rapidly from child to child via direct contact or via surfaces. Effective hand washing has been shown to reduce absenteeism rates in schools.

This lesson plan supports students to see how microbes can spread from hand to hand, why thorough hand washing with soap is so important for infection prevention, and how to wash hands effectively.

Main activity:
  • Healthy Hands
  • What Have We Missed?
Main Activity video
Extension activities:
  • Fill in the Blanks
  • Hand Hygiene Quiz
  • Hand Washing Sequencing
Curriculum links


  • Health and prevention


  • Working scientifically
  • Living things and their habitats
  • Animals, including humans


  • Reading and comprehension
  • Writing

Design & Technology:

  • Cooking and nutrition

Art & Design:

  • Painting
  • Recording observations
Supporting Materials
Teacher sheets
KS2 Hand Hygiene Teacher Guidance
Student worksheets
SW1 Student Recording Sheet
SW2 Handprint Student Worksheet
SW3 Hand Hygiene Fill in the Blanks Worksheet
SW4 Hand Hygiene Quiz
Student handouts
SH1 How Clean are Your Hands
SH2 Hand Washing Poster
SH3 Washing Your Hands Sequencing Activity