Thursday, April 16, 2015


So for awhile we've been talking in my department about running a grossology program, but I've been shying away from it. Mostly because my gross-out factor is really, really, really high. I mean, I guess it depends. For instance, I can talk bodily functions and other stuff people might think is gross for days. I've explained too many Cards Against Humanity jokes in a clinical fashion to in-laws to count; and for that I'm happy that my husband's threshold for mortification is incredibly high. But, play an episode of a show that has a vomit gag, even a cartoon one, and I'm Audi 5000, my friend.

At any rate, I set out to put together a grossology program that was not at all gross to me and yet possibly gross to other people; and after I planned it, I ran it by Kelsey to make sure it was gross enough. Her face as I was describing it said it all-- it was!

So yeah, here's how the "grossest" grossology program I could get myself to do went:

1. Brought up and answered a few questions posed in "Why is Snot Green? And Other Important Questions (And Answers)" by Glen Murphy. These were:
-"What what would happen if you farted in a space suit?"
-"Why is snot green?" (of course)
-"If you swallow a burp, does it turn into a fart?"
-"What would happen if you sneezed and farted at the same time?"

2. Showed them pictures of hair under a microscope. We actually do have a USB microscope, which can be used to blow up small things on a screen, but a $30 microscope is not sensitive enough to see a hair. THEN, I had people close their eyes if they wanted before I showed them a picture of lice under a microscope (it really is that gross).

3. 18th Century food race: I set the scene for this by reading the page about food in "Ick! Yuck! Ew! Our Gross American History" by Lois Miner Huey (bonus Bryce fact: I cannot watch period dramas without constantly thinking about how gross they are. Like I'll watch Pride & Prejudice and be like, "I bet Mr. Darcey smells like feces right now.")

"I only leave the house during these natural bath times"

-put styrofoam bowls full of uncooked rice and pinto beans (two things we happened to have under our sink).
-tell the attendees that this will be their dinner, and they have 15 seconds to dig out all of the pinto beans, which represent bugs. They only get 15 seconds because by that time more bugs would have come by. We did this a few times, the kids dumping their beans back into the bowls after each round.

4. Slime Potato: This is just hot potato but with slime. We had a bunch of flasks of slime we got from the SLP catalog last year that were perfect for this. One kid wanted to just hold the slime the entire time so I gave away the secret that they were all getting slime at the end of the program.

5. Germ Spreader: This was that classic exercise where one person covers their hand in something nasty then shakes everyone else's hand. We used baking soda. After the first two activities they were pretty snoozed by this one, so we didn't spend a lot of time on it. I grabbed our "extra time" book and had them gather at the front of the room instead.

6. Read "Poopendous" by Artie Bennet & Mike Moran: If there were ever a story time use for this book, here it is. Attendees made sure to check out this one as well as "The Butt Book."

Everyone got to head home with a flask of slime after swearing up and down they would NOT open it until they left the library. I haven't seen any emails about "why is there slime on our shelves?" so I'm pretty sure that worked out.

Ready to do this one at your library? Click the link to download the ppt:
Grossology PPT


  1. OOMG, how did I ever miss Poopendous?? I have a hold on it now.

  2. Val McCurdy, Librarian IApril 23, 2015 at 1:40 PM

    For anybody else wanting to do grossology (or other cool science programs) go to They have AMAZING science kits for making slime and worms and all kinds of fun stuff.