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Play At Home: Germs in the Air


This is a fun game of catch with a twist! At Right To Play, we use play to teach important life lessons and skills in ways that engage chil-dren and youth of all ages. All our games include a Reflect-Connect-Apply (RCA) section that reinforces the lesson or skill that the game is designed to teach through a guided discussion with the participants.

  • Ages: 8+
  • Key learning: to gain knowledge and learn strategies to avoid illness
  • Goal of the game: a group challenge in which player must catch a ball while covering their mouths. The ball represents germs.
  • What You Need: a soft ball and 4 or more players

Opening Questions
  • What are some symptoms of the flu or a common cold?
  • How can we protect ourselves against getting sick?
  • Ask players to form a circle
How To Play

Step 1

Practice passing the ball around the circle for one minute without dropping it.

Step 2

Explain that:

  • Germs are in the air all the time, and certain harmful germs can cause us to get sick.
  • One way to protect yourself from harmful germs is to cover your mouth with a sleeve when you or someone else sneezes or coughs.
  • In this game, the ball represents harmful germs.

Step 3

Share how to play:

  • Pass the ball around the circle again, except this time, in order to protect yourself from the harmful germs, you have to cover your mouth with your sleeve when you catch the ball.
  • This means that you can only throw and catch the ball with one hand.
  • If someone drops the ball, you have to start again.
  • If someone catches or throws the ball with two hands, you have to start again.
  • The goal is to try to play for as long as you can without having to start again.
Watch For
  • Are players covering their mouths with their sleeve when they throw and catch the ball?
  • Are players supporting each other to achieve the goal of the game?


  • What does the game tell us about germs?
  • How do germs spread?


  • Has anyone experienced a common cold before? How did you feel? What did you do?


  • How can we protect ourselves from getting sick?
Other Ways to Play
  • If there are less than 4 players available, have the catcher hold the ball for 3 seconds before they can throw it to another player.
  • Ask the players to spread further apart if there is space.
  • Challenge the players to pass the ball to the person across the circle from them.