Hand Washing

Make Your Own Soap Kids Lesson Plan

Proper handwashing requires 20 seconds of lathering. This project helps make spending time with soap a fun activity, rather than a chore.

Young child leaning over bathroom sink next to block of soap

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Goals and Skills


  • Learn and demonstrate the effective way to wash hands
  • Understand why taking time is important when washing hands
  • Experiment with textures and shapes
  • Create three-dimensional sculptures



Set up at least 4 soap-making stations, supplied with each of the following materials

  • One bag of soap flakes
  • Water
  • Container for mixing
  • Paper plates
  • Old pencils, pens or other dull carving tool
  • Tissue paper
  • Ribbon


  • Sink, soap and towels for practicing handwashing
  • Optional: Make copies of the Good, Clean Fun Coupons (page 4 of PDF) to send home with students



You can also learn more about when and how to wash hands:

Instruction Steps

It is recommended that students have prior knowledge and understanding of shapes and the differences between circles, squares, triangles, half circles, trapezoids etc.



Begin by asking students why and when we wash our hands. Invite children to first share their ideas.

Explain that washing our hands with soap and water helps keep us healthy by removing germs that can make us sick. Washing hands takes time—as long as it takes to sing the ABCs. Why? Because that’s how long it takes germs to come off your hands.



Time to practice how to wash our hands. First, go over how to wash hands, step by step, then have all students demonstrate their understanding of the steps.

  1. Wet hands with water.
  2. Add soap
  3. Rub hands together to make bubbles.
  4. Don’t forget to scrub between fingers and under nails.
  5. Keep scrubbing for 20 seconds.
  6. Rinse well.
  7. Shake off and then dry with a towel or air dryer.



In this next activity, students will practice their knowledge of geometric and three-dimensional shapes while cleaning their hands with soap. Divide the class into four groups. Designate one group at each soap-making station.


First, mix soap flakes with enough water to make the consistency of dough. Give each student a tennis ball-sized piece. Assign different shapes to each group, such as triangles, circles/balls, squares/cubes, and trapezoids, for example. Have students identify their shapes and explain what makes them different than other shapes.


Once students have finished their sculptures, set them on paper plates to harden overnight. Make sure students label their plates so they can identify them later. When the soap sculptures have hardened, have students carve their initials or patterns in the soap using dull pencils or pen lids. Wrap finished soap sculptures in tissue paper and tie with ribbon to take home so students can practice handwashing.



As a reflection, review the handwashing steps with the class again. Have students share what they learned.



Send home copies of the handwashing coupons on pages 4.

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