Age: toddler, child
Skill for Bub: Hand/eye coordination, Mind Builder
Proper hand washing is a skill that should be taught before or about the same time a child starts on the road to potty training. Here’s a fun way to teach it!
Washing your toddler’s hands is something you probably do several times a day. Anything ooey gooey and sticky seems to be attracted to the hands. When teaching your child to wash her hands, explain how germs are passed from one person to the other, and how clean hands can help keep her from getting sick. Here’s how to show her:
- Demonstrate how to roll up her sleeves before turning the water on.
- Wet her hands and show her how to squirt the soap into her palm (or use the bar of soap). Consider purchasing foam soap in a pump dispenser, as this is a great hit with kids.
- Rub, rub, rub! Show her how to clean between her fingers and her wrists, which are often overlooked.
- Hands should be washed for at least a count of 10, preferably up to 30.
- Rinse hands well under running water until all soap is gone.
- Dry hands thoroughly with a towel.
Here are some ideas to make a child excited about hand washing:
- Have her draw a picture of herself washing her hands. Frame it and hang it over the sink or on a bathroom wall.
- Pick a song to sing or rhyme to recite while washing hands. Some parents sing a child’s favourite song, such as Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Mary Had a Little Lamb. A good one to start with is the nursery rhyme Rub-A-Dub-Dub.
Three men in a tub,
And who do you think they be?
The butcher, the baker,
The candlestick maker,
They all jumped out of a rotten potato!
Turn ’em out knaves all three.