For my birthday Little M gave me the sweetest gift… “Since it’s your birthday I will actually wash my hands. Actually wash your hands eh? As opposed to all the other times you go into the bathroom and don’t ACTUALLY wash your hands. Hmmm…. interesting.
I posted this funny little comment on Facebook and was given the greatest idea from one of my readers. A visual, fun and hands on way to teach kids about the importance of washing their hands. (Thanks Sheena!)
Now that we are smack dab in the middle of cold and flu season I think it’s time to revisit this one! The cleaner they are getting their hands the better for everyone!
Hand Washing Fun (and learning)
What you’ll need: Cinnamon ~ Oil ~ Paper Towel ~ Soap ~ Water
I poured about a tablespoon of oil onto Little M’s hands and shook cinnamon all over them. She loves a mess… so of course she played with it for a bit.
To get her thinking I asked her to wash her hands. I turned on the cold water and waited. Since I wanted her to make the connection on her own about what was happening I asked questions instead of telling her what I saw.“What do you see happening?”"Interesting. Is that what you expected? What did you expect?”
I asked Little M to press her hands onto the paper towel.
“What do you notice?”"What would happen if you went to play right now?”"Now what?”
Little M suggested we try using soap in our hand washing. If you little one offers a different solution let them try it. Learning is far more effective when kids see for themselves rather than being told something won’t work.
This worked like a charm… but I wasn’t quite done. I had Little M inspect her hands for cinnamon.
“What about in between your fingers? What about the back of your hands?”"How can you wash differently to make sure you get all of those places?”
Once Little M was satisfied that her hands were clean it was time for me to add in a little something extra. I pretended to sneeze on my hand. Then explained how germs stick just like cinnamon. (They are invisible but they are there.) I started to wash with water and was quickly corrected. Yep, she got the message… now it was her turn to teach me.
How do you get your kids to wash up FOR REAL?