10 – 12

Bacteria, viruses and other microbes


Bacteria, viruses and other microbes

What to do with this activity?

Bacteria are so tiny that we can only see them under a microscope - many thousands fit onto the head of a pin. Bacteria are the smallest living things on earth with just one cell each. Our bodies hold millions of bacteria. Most of them are good for us but some make us sick. The whole world depends on bacteria because they rot and recycle organic matter to improve the soil for growing. See Fun Bacteria Facts from Easy Science for Kids.

Viruses are even tinier than bacteria and need specialist microscopes. They are not considered as "living" as they can only survive if they have a host cell to feed them. Viruses cause many illnesses including the colds, flu and chicken pox. Unfortunately we are learning about the new virus Covid-19 at the moment. See this Peekaboo Kids video to learn more about viruses.

For primary school kids, University College Cork has an interactive website on bacteria, viruses and other microbes. It's amazing how these tiny things have such a huge effect on our world.  




  • Why am I doing this?

    Children gain confidence in speaking through demonstrating their knowledge to others. Chatting and listening to your child will help build their communication skills. Talking about words and their meaning in everyday life will also help build your child’s vocabulary – and your own!

  • How can I do more?

    Funny stories are interesting and a good excuse to get your child talking. At mealtimes, each family member could tell something interesting or something funny that happened during the day. Watching TV together can also provide a good opportunity for chat and to discuss what you are watching. Check if your child understands different things they hear and encourage your child to teach you new words and things they have learnt.

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