How To Get Kids To Wash Their Hands Properly

As the seasons change we move into that time of year when people fall sick, one way to keep your family healthy is by teaching your kids how to wash their hands, but how do you do it so they understand that 2 seconds under the cold water tap just ain’t gonna cut it?
This little trick that I learned many moons ago, is a great way to show kids how to wash their hands properly.

Teach them Cinnamon Magic!

Step 1:
Over the sink, rub a little vegetable oil on your child’s hands, then sprinkle with cinnamon “germs” while explaining that real germs are too small to see. Be sure to tell your kids not to touch their noses or eyes while cinnamon is on their hands.

Step 2:
Have your child wash his or her hands without soap. Gosh! The “germs” won’t come off.

Step 3:
Add soap—and watch those “germs” disappear!

While they’re washing:

  1. Talk about why it’s important to wash their hands frequently.
  2. Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Try singing “Wash The Germs Off My Hands” to the happy birthday tune, two rounds is good.
  3. Show them how to rub between their fingers and do the back of their hands too.
  4. Elicit from them times that they should always wash their hands, like after using the toilet, when they come in from outside, before they eat something….

Step 4:
Ask them to look closely at their hands, do they still cinnamon on them? Now smell them, do they still smell like cinnamon? If the answer is yes, then they need to try a little bit harder…

Kids all learn differently so it might interest your child to actually see some “germs” or bacteria. Show them this.

This photo is a eight year olds handprint.

After he had been playing outside his mom got him to place his hand on a TSA plate. The bacteria was allowed to grow and the photo taken with a macro lens. It looks very pretty but it’s pretty gross too, especially if you have no idea what all those clusters are, and to think your we going to pick up some food and eat it without washing your hands Ewwwww.


The next to images are close ups taken from the hand shot. Fancy this with your snack?


Or maybe this looks tastier!


images from :: attribution: Tasha Sturm, Cabrillo College

If this helped your kids to learn to wash their hand properly, then please share, hit the social media buttons below! Cheers.

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