Making Hand Washing for Kids Fun
Hands are one of the biggest carriers of germs, especially little hands that are busy playing and exploring. That’s why it’s important to make hand washing fun for kids, otherwise the lesson won’t stick.
Washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap is one of the best ways to help protect you and your family from sickness.
Here are a few hand washing techniques that will help you avoid a daily battle.
Make a hand washing chart
One easy way to make hand washing fun for kids is to set up a hand washing chart with the key times your children should be washing their hands at home with soap and warm water. This might include:
- Before breakfast
- Before lunch
- Before dinner
- After going to the toilet
- After playing outside
- After school
- After petting any animals
There doesn’t need to be a prize but your children will love ticking off their own hand washing chart as a visual reward for their accomplishment.
Sing a song
Making sure your children wash their hands with soap and water for the recommended 20 seconds is important to help prevent the spread of germs. One good trick is to get into the habit of singing a song while your children wash their hands. When they’ve finished singing they will know they’ve washed their hands for the right amount of time. The great thing about this method is your children can take it anywhere with them - at school, at a friend’s house and in any public restrooms.
Make it child-friendly
Set up a child-friendly hand washing station at home with a stool and a good antibacterial soap. The easier it is for your children to wash their hands, the less of a chore it will seem. Let your child choose their own supplies, like a special towel for drying their hands afterwards, so that they can really take pride in washing their hands all by themselves.
Play a game
If getting your children to wash their hands feels like a bit of a battle, make it into a game. One idea is to play "Whose hands smell the cleanest?" This should make sure those hands get a thorough scrub – they might even play it at school with their friends.
Encourage your children to use soap as well as water by teaching them about germs in a visual way. Try sprinkling some glitter on their hands to represent the ‘germs’ so they can see how much easier it is to wash the “germs” off with soap.
Make hand washing techniques into a fun arts and crafts project. Sit down with your child to make a homemade poster showing the correct hand washing steps and keep it in the bathroom for reference. Drawing out how to wash your hands step by step is a great visual way to bring home the importance of proper hand washing.
We recommend the following hand washing technique to make sure little hands are really clean:
- Wet your hands with running water.
- Apply soap and lather.
- Rub hands with hand soaps vigorously for 20 seconds. Remember to get the back of your hands and underneath your fingernails.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer.
- Use the towel or your elbow to turn off the faucet.
- For more fun tips to make hand washing fun for children, watch our video.
Routine and repetition
Our final tip is to be a good hand washing role model for your kids and turn it into a routine. When you come home from shopping, running errands or playing outside, make the point of hanging your coat up, taking off your shoes and then washing your hands with soap and water before doing anything else. Build it into your family’s routine and soon enough a good hand washing technique will become a habit, helping to keep your little ones protected from nasty germs.
A great way to remind children to wash their hands is to print out our helpful hand washing poster.