Hot Potato with Glo Germ! Infection Control Games Part 8

posted Mar 20, 2014, 8:03 AM by Todd Fox   [ updated Sep 23, 2016, 2:26 PM ]
Hot Potato is a classic game... but now you can use it teach others to not "Catch the Germ"
Hot Potato has proven to be the most effective game to teach about microbes and infection control.  It is fun because everyone avoids the germ as it is passed around!

The second reason it is an effective hygiene game is because you can use a Glo Germ Kit easily.  All you need to do is add some Glo Powder to the item that is being passed around (you can decide if you want to tell the participants whether or not you applied the "secret" invisible germs).  The item will naturally spread the infection as it is passed around.

Once the game has been played, you will then pull out the UV black light and show the students where the germs went!  There will be germs on the hands, faces, clothes, chairs, desks and so forth!  It will really illustrate how fast germs can spread.  

The simulation germs are non toxic and washable.  Have the students wash their hands and then check to see how well they did.  If you have other game ideas then please email us!  Good luck with your lesson.

Pandemic (Sardines)

Potential Supplies: No supplies necessary (can use the Glo Germ System). However, prizes are recommended to increase game interaction. 

Pandemic is played out similar to the game sardines except that it has a “germ” theme. One player is chosen to be the “antidote” of a recent pandemic and is told to hide. In order to survive, the rest of the students who are “infected” must find the antidote and stay as close as possible. The remaining players need to close their eyes and count to a predetermined number (long enough for the player hiding to find a spot). 

Once the counting is finished, all infected players set out to find the antidote. Every player that finds the antidote needs to continue to hide with all the others that have found the antidote. Be as quiet as possible! The game is played until all players are saved from the pandemic and find the antidote. The last infected person to find the group becomes the next antidote! 

Don't Catch the Germ/Cold (Hot Potato)

Potential Supplies: Ball or stuffed object, the GlitterBug Fluorescent System, prizes, etc. 

All participants are to sit or stand in a loose circle. One item should be pre-selected as the “germ” which will be tossed around. The item that is being thrown around should light, catchable, and preferably soft. A brief introduction about how colds and germs are passed around should precede the game. Mention how the “germ” chosen will represent the germs that are all around us. The players should be instructed to pass the germ as quickly as possible (to get rid of it). 

If a player has a chance to catch or touch the germ and does not end up catching it, he/she is out of the game. The germ got the best of them! Also, if a player poorly throws the germ to another player making it uncatchable, he/she is out. The last person wins!

Note: The GlitterBug System works very well with this game. Secretly apply GlitterBug lotion or powder to the germ (ball, stuffed animal, or other throwing item) before the game. Play a few rounds of “Don’t Pass the Cold” and then explain the experiment to the students. Tell them that the germ had simulated germs that glow in the dark! Turn off the classroom lights and use the black light to show how far the simulated germs traveled! This should emphasize the importance washing their hands!

Fun Facts from NIH (

Bacterial chemicals called Endotoxins- in particular, on bedroom floors and in bedding- are linked to increased breathing problems in adults. 
The likelihood of recent asthma symptoms was nearly 3 times greater for people exposed to high levels of endotoxin in the bedroom.
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