Now more than ever, we all understand the role good hand hygiene plays in keeping ourselves, our families, and our communities safe and healthy. But the increased emphasis on cleanliness may be confusing for children - especially if they’re not fans of bath time to begin with.
Keeping kids engaged and motivated about staying clean is something parents have always had to navigate. But with present circumstances being as they are, finding creative ways to address personal hygiene can make those everyday moments much more enjoyable for children (and their parents).
Here are some tips for making hand washing more fun for the little ones.
Watch Your Language
Kids take the lead from grown-ups, which is why it’s important to consider how we talk to them about washing their hands. Framing it as a chore or matter of public health might confuse or even scare them, but coming up with fun ways to simplify the science behind hand washing could get them more into it.
One way to spark their interest is by explaining to them that germs are invisible bad guys, and that soap and water are the heroes that keep everyone clean and safe. Build on that by helping them feel empowered. Let kids know that every time they wash their hands, they keep germs from spreading to others - and that makes them a hero too.
Singing two rounds of “Happy Birthday” is one way to make sure the kiddoes wash their hands for at least 20-30 seconds. But why not have a little fun by expanding your song repertoire?
Classic rhymes like “This Little Piggy” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider” encourage playtime while directing kids’ attention to their fingers. Songs like “Old MacDonald'' and “Baby Beluga” can help kids focus less on moving around and more on the task at hand. Try changing the lyrics of “When You’re Happy And You Know It” to speak less to clapping hands, and more to washing them.
Since you’re feeling creative, try coming up with your own hand washing song - maybe something that parodies a current hit the kids love, or a totally new tune. The sillier, the better!
Put Them In Charge
Kids love being given an important job to do. Allowing them to be more involved in the hand washing process could be just the ticket to helping them stay motivated.
When it’s time to wash up, let them choose which hand soap everyone uses. Keep a few options handy so they can pick a different scent for each day. When away from home, give the little one the important responsibility of sharing spritzes of hand sanitizer or handing out wipes, so the whole family stays clean and refreshed after every errand.Figuring out how to keep kids on top of their hand hygiene can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be. By simply turning hand washing from a daily must-do, into a fun activity that also helps other people can go a long way with the little ones. Now that you’re feeling inspired, check out our everyone Kids collection to stock up!