Sunday, February 5, 2017

Germs Alive

The first adventure I ever taught
and still one of my favorites!

Cub Scouts "Germs Alive!" Badge

Den Meeting #1 Confetti Bombs, Glitter Trails, and Green Popcorn.
The boys that arrived right on time got to do a "when to wash your hands" penny toss.  They had ten pennies at a time and we called it a fortune teller.  Whichever box on the chart had the most pennies landed on we said was the one they needed to remember the most!

Activity 1: Hand Washing song.  It is in the book, I also talked about "wash the tips of your fingers and inbetween, front and back and then you're clean!"

Activity 2: Sneeze Experiment, I used washable marker on a white sheet to make our bulls eye and it washed right out in the laundry.  I had no confetti, so I used dots from our hole punch that were green and purple.  We called them viruses and bacteria.  I had no regular balloons, but water balloons worked great, they pop so easily and we could make one for each boy.  I used the end of a food thermometer for them to easily pop the baloons, they LOVED having a "popper".  We used straws to push the paper dots into the balloons through a little plastic funnel.  Here is one of my honorary cubs filling and popping a balloon.  


Activity 3: We had translucent glitter left over from snow globes at christmas, even though it wasn't bright, it worked great.  We didn't worry about making a mess,  just went for it and then vacuumed the carpet after.  

Snack: Green Popcorn Recipe (Booger Popcorn)
Made this using yellow and green food coloring
Now that we are talking about germs, what do you think green popcorn looks like?  Yep, boogers.  Definitely let the boys eat some before mentioning boogers, because it scared a few boys off the first time I taught this badge, but if you wait until they try it, it works out well as a conversation topic.  



  • 12 large marshmallows (1/3 of a mini marshmallow bag, 3.6 ounces)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs light corn syrup (Karo syrup)
  • several drops green food coloring (neon green is best, or half yellow-half green)

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 packages microwave popcorn, popped (8-9 cups)


  1. Cook and stir the marshmallows, sugar, food coloring, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla extract together in a pot over medium-low heat until the marshmallows are ALMOST completely melted, the longer you cook the harder the finished product.

  2. Put the popcorn in a large bowl; pour the marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and gently stir with a big spoon to coat.  Roll into a popcorn ball for each serving or spread out on a cookie sheet to dry or until ready to eat.

Den Meeting #2 Gross Box Game, Germ Sweep Relay, Moldy Bread, and Job Charts
Gathering activity was Ned's Head, using another halloween activity we had the boys grab things out of Ned's head to see who could finish finding all their items first.  You could use any box with a hole if you don't have Ned's Head.  We had them talk about which items would have the most germs!

We put a plate of items in ziplocs with a bit of water sprayed on them for the mold experiment.  I would also write on the bags MOLD GROWING EXPERIMENT.  TAKE A PHOTO IN 3 WEEKS.  THROW AWAY WITHOUT OPENING.  
Note: cheddar cheese can take 5 weeks to mold, so try monterey jack, mozzarella, cottage cheese or feta for quicker results.  Also store bought bread has a lot of preservatives and won't mold too quickly in the winter, if you have homemade bread or cornbread or even pancakes, those will mold A LOT more quickly for the boys to observe.  (Just have pancakes for breakfast or lunch the day of the activity.
Mold 3 weeks later, nothing on the bread or cheese,
so avoid cheddar and store bought bread.
We made job charts.  (note: this is a great time for LDS cub scouts to do Faith in God activity Developing Talents #7, the items they list for helping parents can go on the job chart.)  

To get the boys moving and having fun, we had them do the "germ sweep away relay".  We made "germs" out of unopened water bottles and they swept them back and forth the length of the room with brooms.  I thanked them for "cleaning" the germs out of my house!

pulling faces at the mold
Germ Sweep Relay from the Den Leader Guide

Snack: regular, non-slimed popcorn this time!

Den Meeting #3  Slime 

source: Pinterest
The gathering activity was making germ monster pictures for pack meeting.  They were cute.  I didn't get pictures, but they looked a lot like this picture.  I had eyes and teeth and a few things to get them started.

To get moving, we played germ tag and then we made slime.  The recipe in the book was confusing and the "updated" one online was the same confusing thing, so I just used the one we did in my daughter's school class from a mommy blog.  I wrote the recipe down on strips of paper and had the boys pick one or two so they each had a job to do. 

1. combine 1/2 tsp borax and 1/4 cup warm water
2. pour a small 4oz bottle of glue in a separate bowl
3. fill empty glue bottle with warm water, put the lid back on, shake it, pour it in with the glue
4. stir the glue and water 10 times (have someone else stir more if needed)
5. leader: add a few squirts of bright green food coloring
6. pour the borax into the glue and stir ten times (if you can!)
7. leader: pour the almost slime into a freezer ziplock
8. squeeze the ziploc 10 times each until it really is slime.
9. put slime on a plate and do the mucous demonstration with glitter.
10. divide the slime into baggies to take home.

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