Germs are inevitable among toddlers, but educating them on washing their hands can minimize the spreading of harmful germs. At our Raleigh preschools, we like to work with our students in the classroom about the importance of washing their hands through activities that make it fun.
Educating through demonstration is a fun and easy way for preschoolers to grasp the concept and see how germs spread through touch. Activities like putting a substance, such as flour, on their hands and having them touch and share toys, and engage in contact, such as hand-shaking, can show them how the germs (flour) spreads from student to student. Washing the germs away before touching toys or other students can show them how to prevent the spreading of sickly germs.
Similarly, show students how germs spread through the air, like during a sneeze or coughing. Take some of the flour, put it in their hands and have them blow on it. Explain how the germs travel through the air and fall onto other students, toys, surfaces, etc. This can help toddlers learn the importance of covering their noses and mouths when they sneeze and cough, and why it’s important to wash their hands afterwards.
You can even make hand-washing fun for toddlers by using certain soaps that change colors, or are foamy textures. Designate a special song as the “hand-washing” song. A 20 second song, such as “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, or the alphabet song to sing while each kid scrubs with soap is a good way to encourage them to wash their hands long enough.
Making hand-washing something that is fun for toddlers can help keep them healthy, especially during cold and flu season. Practice healthy habits at home with your family to encourage your preschoolers and help them learn the importance of washing their hands.