How to Teach Kids to Wash Their Hands
As the back to school season approaches it is important to teach kids to wash their hands properly. We should to talk to our kids about germs and how they spread. The idea of germs can be hard for young children to understand because they cannot see them. Showing them how germs spread is a great way for young kids to understand and for them to learn the importance of hand washing.
Steps for Washing Hands
- Turn on the faucet and wet your hands.
- Put soap on your hands.
- Scrub the top and bottom of hands. Scrub the wrists, between the fingers and nails. Rub the soap all over while singing the Alphabet Song.
- Rinse your hands under running water. Rub them together to get all the soap and dirt off.
- Dry your hands with a towel or a hand dryer.
You can find these steps in a free printable at the end of this post. You can hang it up in the bathroom so kids can refer to it and remember the steps for proper hand washing.
Talk About When to Wash Hands
Now that we have taught our kids how to wash their hands, we need to teach them when they should wash their hands.
- Before eating.
- After playing outside.
- After playing with pets.
- After sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose.
- After going to the bathroom.
- After handling garbage.
Teaching Kids About Germs
I am sharing with you 2 fun hands-on ways to teach your kids about germs and the importance of proper hand washing. These activities will help young kids to see how germs can spread.
Experiment 1: Pepper Germs in a Plate
This experiment is quite simple and requires very little prep. It is a fun and eye-catching way for children to learn about germs.
- Dish soap
- Small bowl
Explain to your child that the pepper is supposed to be the germs that we can’t see.
Pour water into the bowl, then add pepper to the water. Have your child stick a finger into the water. Then wipe off the pepper.
Next, pour the dish soap into the small bowl. Have your child dip a finger in the soap then place it into the pepper and water plate. The glitter will move away from the soap and go to the outer part of the bowl.
You can ask your child some questions like: What happened? What made the glitter germs move away?
Experiment #2: Glitter Germs Hand Washing
This is another simple experiment you can use to teach your kids about germs and teach them how to wash their hands.
- Hand soap
Place lotion on your child’s hand then sprinkle on some glitter. Have your child rub their hands together so the glitter germs spread.
Have you child hold your hand, touch a piece of paper or the counter. This step is to show her how easily germs spread as the glitter will transfer to any surface she touches.
Next comes the hand washing! Begin by having your child wet her hands with water then pump out hand soap from the soap dispenser. Next, have her scrub her hands all over – top, bottom, wrists, between the fingers and under the nails, until all of the glitter has been washed away. Doing this activity really demonstrates to kids that running water on their hands for 5 seconds just doesn’t cut it!
This experiment is a such a wonderful way for kids to see how easily germs can spread and how important it is to practice proper hand washing.