How To Grow Your Own Hand Bacteria

How clean are your kids hands? A fun biology experiment for your child.

Dirty hands accounts for 33% of all food poisoning cases, and enumerable instances of the spread of disease from the simple cold and flu virus to E.coli and Norovirus infections. Keeping hands clean starts at home and teaching your child the importance of hand washing at an early age is critical.

In this experiment you can show your child how many bacteria grown on hands that are unwashed and dirty. Showing your chid the outcome of this experiment and giving them the opportunity to learn through STEAM education is an excellent ‘hands on’ way to encourage healthy hand washing habits.


Step 1

After a busy school day or day out having fun, place your child’s unwashed hand onto the agar plate.

Step 2

Fingers should be spread out as wide as possible and hand to be placed onto agar as gently as not to crack the agar.

Step 3

Close the lid and wrap the provided parafilm around the edge of the plate to seal it off.

Step 4

Keep in a closed box/cupboard in the warmest part of your home.

Step 5

You can check daily to see the bacteria or fungi begin to grow.

Step 6

After 3 – 5 days you should develop a nice hand print of bacterial and fungal growth.

Step 7

Once the experiment is complete, place the plate in the microwave and heat for at leat 2 minutes and discard.

Step 8

Please make sure that there is always  a adult supervision when conducting experiments.

Step 9

Be sure to wash your hands after handling the experiment/petri dish with the bacteria and fungi.

Step 10

When discarding the microwaved petri dish container, be sure to dispose of the container correctly.

Send us the pics of your results using the hastag #fcshands on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram 

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