It’s hard to teach kids how to wash their hands correctly. Some want to skip the soap. Some want to just wet their hands and then they’re finished. Having taught school before, I know that some even turn the water on just to make you think they washed their hands, when in fact, they didn’t even get their hands wet!
One thing that really helped to motivate my students to wash correctly were these cute videos. Some would even sing one of the songs while washing their hands.
Germ Smart – Wash Your Hands Our students loved this video!
If your kids are like the ones in my class, they will pick out one or two of the songs that they really like and that will stick with them. Demonstrate to your kids how to wash hands properly while singing part of a song.
Here’s how to wash hands thoroughly. Wet hands and apply soap. Hands need to be washed for at least 15-20 seconds. Rub hands together to clean the top of the hands and in between fingers. Rub palms together to clean the other side and in between fingers again. Rub finger tips on palms of hand, alternating hands. Then cup your fingers around your thumb to clean, then alternate to the other hand. Rinse well and dry on a towel.
This is such an important skill for our children to learn. Try to make it fun. Watch the videos, sing songs while washing hands, and maybe have an incentive chart. The chart doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. You can use a calendar that you already have or you can print a free one online. You can also draw your own. The main thing is to have a square for each day. If they do a good job of washing their hands that day then they can get a sticker to put on their chart. Or you can draw a smiley face or something they can relate to on the daily square. Decide on a reward for a certain number of stickers/happy faces.
Make sure the reward is something they like and remember:
- Make it fun.
- Keep it positive.
Set a good example by washing your hands properly. Use your imagination and you might come up with some other fun activities and incentives to add to these. The old saying is true, practice makes perfect. It may take a lot of practice with some but it’s worth the patience it may take. Stay healthy, everyone!!