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My Body: The Immune System and Personal Hygiene

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We've moved into our third week of studying our bodies. It's been very interesting to see how this unit has evolved, based on the needs and understandings of the kiddos.  Last week, as I was thinking about what to cover next, knowing what I'd planned was going to be too difficult, my thoughts instantly went to the immune system.  The kiddos weren't sick at the time, but it just made sense to me.  Funny thing is, two out of the four kiddos became mildly ill with horrible colds over the weekend.  My timing is perfect!

This week I was super excited about an idea I found as an object lesson, and boy did the kids LOVE it!  I had all of the kiddos put a small amount of lotion on their hands and rub until they couldn't see it anymore. I did this as well.  I then poured a very small amount of green glitter on the table and "accidentally" put my hand in it.  I then "accidentally" put my hand on my cheek.  The kiddos were giggling hysterically.  Next I shook each of their hands and well... It went on from there.  Bulldozer was determined to have green glitter on the table space in front of him, so I did end up doing that for each of the kiddos.  Needless to say, by the end of the presentation we were all covered in green glitter.

I explained to them that the green glitter was germs.  We talked about how quickly germs can spread and just how many of them there are around us.  They LOVED this activity.  It was a perfect introduction to the immune system.

On to our other activities!

This post has been updated, providing links to all free printables.  Some printables may vary from the pictures shown, to comply with copyright laws etc.  I worked extremely hard to have them resemble those shown in pictures.

First Name Play Dough Mats
 The kids love play dough activities, so I figured I'd make boards with their names on them.  They can choose to use their own name or the name of a sibling.  Originally I had black play dough out to use for the activity, just because I had a lot of it.  However, after our first day of learning activities I'm so tempted to make green play dough with glitter tonight!

 Dinomite is still struggling to understand the concept of suffixes and rightly so. It's a very BIG concept for such a little guy with so many rules.  I adjusted an activity I created a few weeks ago to create this one.  There are five different words in the singular form, in one pocket.  The kiddos' job is to create those words one at a time using our "movable" alphabet.  Each of those words follows a different rule when making a singular word plural.  Once they've made the singular form of the word, they take away and add the letters necessary to make the word plural.  There is a set of cards with the plural versions of the words on them, as they need help.  Once they've physically changed the letters in the words to make them plural, they match up the rule to the specific word changes.   I'm hoping going through the actions in such a physical way will help Dinomite gain confidence in himself and help him remember the rules.

Source: I created this printable.  The Suffix Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, follow the directions at the bottom of the post.

Writing Immune System Words
 There are many things you can do with these cards, however, I wanted to try to incorporate some writing into our trays.  Each kiddo will attempt to write the words on the cards the best they can.  If I notice the task is too difficult for Bulldozer and/or Princess, I'll just have them write the first letter of each word.

Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Immune System Words and Pictures is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Addition with Germs & White Blood Cells
We've used these addition wheels before, but again, Dinomite is trying to nail down all of his math facts by the end of June, so I brought out the ones he's struggling with.  Seeing as our theme is the immune system I used green glass beads as germs and white glass beads as white blood cells.

Source: These addition wheels can be found for free at Montessori for Everyone.

Get Well Store
 This activity is very similar to last week's activity, however, I made new cards to match our theme of the week, changing up the money values etc.  I use real coins, separated into little cups.  To help the kids remember the names and values of the coins, I pulled out our coin flashcards.  The object of the activity is to pull out the correct amount of change from the little cups to match the amount on the cards.  The little kiddos will then identify the coins by name.  Dinomite will count the money amount and then see if his answer matches the amount written on the back of the cards.

Despite accidentally erasing my card set from last week, (which I'll recreate) I'm pretty excited about how these turned out.  Different types of treatment one might need because of "germs" infecting the body are on the cards.  The discussion that comes from the pictures alone is great!

Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Germ Solution Money Cards are a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

What Time Do I Wash My Hands?
 This activity is similar to one we did two weeks ago, however I made cards to match the theme we are studying.  The kiddos look at the card and then move the hands on the clock to match the card.  The little kiddos then turn the card over and say the time on the back.  Dinomite tells an adult what time it is before he turns over the card.  Most often he's right.
 I designed the cards to teach the different circumstances kiddos should remember to wash their hands.  The discussions have been great.  It's been super exciting to see the kiddos apply what they're learning in our classroom to daily living situations.

Source: I created the printable for this activity.  The When to Wash Hands Printable is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Immune System Match Up
 I would have loved to do more with these cards, however I was out of planning time. I've seen how people use play dough to create the different ideas etc.  Perhaps next time.  For now we're just matching up.
 Source:  I found these cards at Mixing Playdough.

Dos and Don'ts of Spreading Germs
 These cards really don't have a control, other than a match up, however I've realized Bulldozer LOVES the yes/no card series I've been making. It doesn't take him long to do it himself and he actually learns.  The yes/no cards work very well with his black and white way of thinking.
 Each "no" card has a match up "yes" card to teach kiddos what to do, instead of what not to do when germs are concerned.

Source:  I created the printable for this activity. The Spreading Germs Yes and No Printable is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Brushing Teeth Sequence
Dinomite is pretty good at brushing his teeth, however, Bulldozer and Princess have much to learn. I found these great sequencing cards online and couldn't resist using them.  The only downfall to the set is that there are a lot of cards in the sequence.  I'm hoping the kiddos can still do it with help!

Source: I found this activity at

Washing Hands Sequence
I wanted this activity in our mix specifically for Bulldozer.  He struggles sequencing events.  This activity seems very simple and easy for him.  It will also help him remember what to do when it's his turn to wash his hands.

 Source: I found these cards at Boardmaker Share.

Germs with Personality
This was such a cute activity. I couldn't resist. Already after one day it's a favorite.  It's so much fun to make your own germs!
I diluted our paints with water.  The kiddos use the eye droppers to put paint on the paper.  Then they use the straw to blow the paint in different directions to create germs. Once the paint is dry they can add facial features, including googly eyes.

 Source:  I found this activity at Raising Sparks.

Musical Instruments that Shake
We're starting to collect quite a variety of musical instruments.  I decided to pull some out that the kiddos can shake. Already the kiddos are comparing the sounds and shapes of each of the instruments. I love it!

Practical Life:
I found this at Salvation Army and couldn't resist. After all, it's the first thing I thought of as we started studying the body.  There are no batteries in the game, as that would make it impossible for the kiddos and extremely annoying for Mommy.  It's a simple tweezing activity, or not?  Bulldozer and Princess have become very frustrated with it already.  Hopefully they'll keep working at it throughout the week.  Dinomite loves it!

Syringe Water Transfer
This activity has been loads of fun and lots of work at the same time.  The kiddos are having a blast but it's taking them more coordination and practice than they thought it would, to be successful at transferring the water.  I think they're doing fabulous!

Blowing Your Nose
There isn't a single kiddo in our home who can blow their nose successfully.  So, I figured we could use the lesson and practice.  After reading about the step by step process Montessori Schools use to teach kiddos this skill, I made cards to help them remember the steps.
Source: I created the printable for this activity. The Blowing Nose Sequence is a Subscriber's Only Freebie. For your free copy, be sure to follow the directions at the bottom of this post.

Washing Hands
My kiddos are pretty good at the process of turning water on, putting soap on their hands, and then rinsing, however they tend to neglect the actual washing part, or rinse the soap off before they start rubbing their hands together.  I loved these cards I found.  They actually give a step by step hand motion process to make sure the kiddos wash their hands completely.  We've even progressed to washing our faces today, which I think is pretty cool. Although, again, we're going to have to find or create a step by step process for remembering all the parts of the face. Lol.

 Source:  I found the illustrations and directions at Project Wet.

Oral Electrolyte Solution Taste Testing (Gatorade Taste Testing)
I was super excited when I came up with this idea.  (If it's out there already, I didn't know about it.)  It's always so hard to come up with sensorial activities my autistic kiddos will actually attempt.  It's even harder to take care of my autistic boys when they get sick, especially when they need fluids.  Bulldozer will not drink anything but water.  Add his allergies to the mix and it gets pretty hairy.

The kiddos are LOVING this challenge so far.  Bulldozer, to my surprise, tasted every single flavor today.  He didn't like any of them, except for the water with the added solution, but hey, that's progress in my book.  Honestly, until today while at the store, I didn't even know they made plain water with the solution.

I used medicine cups as sample cups for each flavor.  They really are the perfect size.  As the kids keep tasting the flavors throughout the week I'm certain we'll be getting into discussions about what flavor they like best, least, etc.

Throat Drop Taste Testing
Again, I was super excited about this idea when it came to me.  I was a little bit concerned about the kids' intake of throat drops during one setting, but no one kiddo finished more than one throat drop.  The rest they just tasted and then took out of their mouths, putting them back on the tray.  The kids were sitting down at their table during the testing, so I wasn't as nervous about choking. Still, it was funny as I had to explain to them all how to just suck on a piece of "candy."  Princess instantly wanted to chew them up.  Dinomite didn't know exactly what to do.  By the end, they had the hang of it and loved the activity.  It's surprising how many flavors of throat drops there are out there.

And that's it for this week!  I've not been great at documenting the books we're reading every day. Hopefully next week I can do better with that.

We are having so much fun during learning time in this house!

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  1. How fun! I love all your projects, thanks so much for sharing your post with me! Aren't the blow painted germs adorable? We did that this past week and my girls LOVED them. I hadn't thought of looking through my Project Wet book - great idea! I'm planning to link to your site in my post tomorrow. I hope you don't mind me sharing a link to your site and all your great ideas!
    ~Andrea from No Doubt Learning

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I don't mind at all if you link up to my site. I'd be honored!

  2. What a wonderful unit with lots of great activities! :-)

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Love this activity! Thank you for linking up at the Virtual Sharing Fair! What a great unit. I'd love to get my hands on your human body cards. Shall I email you directly?

    Best, Marnie

    1. Yes, just e-mail me directly with the request stating the specific activity and post. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I'm following you over from Andrea at No Doubt Learning! You have a great blog - I've got you on GFC so I don't miss any new posts! :)

    1. Thank you so much for the compliment. It means a lot. I love reading comments. :)

  6. Wow! It looks like you guys had an awesome week! I love those addition wheels! I'd love to invite you to share this post at Teach Me Tuesday, an educational linky party at Preschool Powol Packets--I hope to see you there!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. I accepted your invitation and linked up to your Teach Me Tuesday post. Thank you for inviting me! I included all three My Body Unit Themes that we've done. I also added you to my blog list to read often!

  7. Oh my goodness - so much good stuff! I will be returning for more :)

    1. Thanks so much! I look forward to you coming back soon!

  8. Wow, this list was epic! I love Montessori home education too. I'd love it if you'd come link up your ideas with Mom's Library--I bet my readers would love your site too!

  9. Excuse the deleted replies. I would love to hook up to Mom's Library, however I'm a little confused as to how. I am linked up to True Aim and was actually featured on Mom's Library this past week-our Circulatory System Unit, but am unclear just how the whole library works etc. If you could clarify for me and send details I would love to link up to where ever I can. :)

  10. Your units are FABULOUS! And I love the green glitter start to your unit! I'm so glad you link up with Montessori Monday! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page:

    1. Thank you! I'm honored. I can not tell you how much I appreciate all the hard work you do. I read every new post you write on your blog!

  11. Thanks so much for linking to Look What We Did. I have featured your post as part of the Homeschool Review. Thanks again! -Savannah @ HammockTracks

    1. Wow! I'm so flattered. Thank you so much! Come back and visit soon!

  12. Great ideas---loved the gatorade testing box!

  13. I love this! We just went to a children's museum yesterday so the kids and I talked a good bit about germs that can get on things and why we washer our hands a couple extra times while we are there. Can't wait to use this unit in the fall!

  14. What great ideas you have! I love the glitter germs! What a great way to help kids see how easily germs spread! I've pinned this :)

  15. Such great activities! Featuring on Family Fun Friday this week. Thanks for linking up!

  16. Awesome unit as always! Featured you this week on Mom's Library!

  17. Thanks again for sharing another collection of your great ideas at the Love to Learn Linky. I am always talking to my daughter about germs and I am pretty sure she doesn't get it. I love how the glitter idea can make a wonderful visual representation!

  18. Thanks so much for including my cards! I'm glad you guys enjoyed them.