We all want healthy, happy children right? So let’s teach them the golden rule in defending illness. Good hand washing is the best line of defence against the spread of many illnesses from colds to COVID-19 and flu to many other serious infections. Every child likes to touch, touch and well, touch! Don’t underestimate the importance of regular handwashing. It will prevent children getting infected from touching different things throughout the day and save you a calpol purchase or a trip to the doctors!
Handwashing can be boring, a chore, so we’ve put together some activities to make it fun! Read on and try at home.

Glitter Bugs!

The children at Acorns Day Nursery in Exeter are very aware that germs are invisibile! So we’ve been using glitter to act as bugs to practise our hand washing techniques. Giving children something to work on and wipe off helps them understand the importance of washing their hands.

Beads or Bugs?

The next activity involved drawing around our hands, placing them in sealed bags with beads to act as bugs and using our fine motor skills to push them away! The children were encouraged to push the bugs off using the techniques they learn whilst washing their own hands. Whilst they children played, they spoke about when they wash their hands. “Before dinner and lunch!”, “When you go to the toilet!” and “Before I go to bed!”

Animal Wash!

The Pre-schoolers acknowledged that on their toys there are “a lot of germs” because “all the children play with them.” So we thought it would be a good idea to wash them all off! Cleaning toys can be a great way of cleaning your child’s hands whilst keeping it fun!

Hand Washing Tips at Home

Here are some things you can do at home to emphasise the importance of hand washing.

  • Make Hand Washing fun!
    – This is probably the most important tip. Find songs, take part in races, give out stickers, use glitter, create games, clean toys! Handwashing doesn’t have to be a chore.
  • At Acorns, the Pre school children watch these videos once a week to promote good handwashing:
    Germ Smart Kids: How-To Handwashing – YouTube
  • Hand wash routinely. 
  • Reward children!
  • Clean your hands alongside them. Model good hand washing.
  • Constant questioning when children get back from the toilet, for example. 
  • Talk to children about germs and illnesses and why handwashing is important.

And most importantly, do it as much as possible. Handwashing really is the most powerful defence against illness.
Is your child a fussy eater? Check out our tactics to encourage children to try new foods here!

Or check out Facebook and Instagram for more activities!