This is Why You Shouldn’t Sneeze into Your Hands

To understand more about what snot is (and to gross out your friends), make some fake snot and then find out why you should never sneeze into your hand.

kids making fake snot

You will need:

  • Kettle
  • 2 small bowls
  • 3 packets of unflavored gelatin
  • Fork
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) corn (golden) syrup
  • Green food coloring
  • Vaseline
  • Glitter


Step 1 

fake snot step 1

Ask an adult to help you heat water in a kettle until it is very hot, but not quite boiling. Pour half a cup of the almost boiling water into a bowl and sprinkle on the three packets of gelatin. Stir the powder in with a fork and then leave to soften for 5 minutes.


Step 2

fake snot step 2

Put the corn (golden) syrup into another bowl.


Step 3

fake snot step 3

Stir the gelatin mix with a fork until all the lumps have gone and then slowly add it to the corn syrup until your mixture looks like snot. Use a fork to stir it, as it will pull out long strands of snot. Add a few drops of green food coloring to make it even more disgusting. This looks like snot because it is made of the same ingredients as snot—protein, sugar, and water. They are different types of protein and sugar, but snot has a very similar chemical make-up.


Step 4

fake snot step 4

Now wipe a very thin smear of Vaseline onto a door handle that everyone in your family uses a lot. Sprinkle a thin layer of glitter all over it—it should stick to the Vaseline. Don’t tell anyone.


Step 5

fake snot step 5

After a while get everyone to check their hands to see if there is glitter on them. Become a detective and check other places to find how far the glitter has spread. Imagine that you had cold and had sneezed into your hand and then opened a door. The bacteria and viruses from your snot would have been wiped onto the door handle. The next person who opened the door would have got it on their hands and spread it further and probably caught your cold. This is why you should never sneeze into your hand—unless you are going to wash it straight away!


my first book of my body cover


Excerpted from My First Book of My Body ($14.95) by Susan Akass and Frances Butcher, photography by Terry Benson, with permission of CICO Kidz.