Fun, Interactive Activities to Help Keep Little Hands Clean

April 6, 2020 / Parent Resources

Kids move fast when they are involved in fun interactive activities and fun games. They are always bouncing off the walls, touching everything, and flocking together with their buddies engaging in games — which means that they are more prone to putting things in their mouth, touching their faces, or picking their noses, putting them and those around them at a higher health risk. That’s why teaching them to be mindful of their hygiene is essential.

Have a conversation

Your kids have probably already caught on to what is happening around the world right now.. Have a chat with them, check on everything they know in order to understand their fears and spot any trace of misinformation. Following their lead and without dismissing their fears and sharing age-appropriate facts is a great way to calm their nerves. Drawing comparisons to flu or cold symptoms while emphasizing the differences, such as the virus is new and sometimes necessitating treatment from doctors makes it easier for them to familiarize themselves with the virus. Kids pick up on anxiety, so it is important to be calm and reassuring.

Teach them good hygiene

“Nine-tenths of our sickness can be prevented by right thinking plus right hygiene – nine-tenths of it!” – Henry Miller, American Writer

The steps below can set the tone on the importance of following good hygiene. Highlight how they can be ‘germ busters’ and defeat the ‘sneaky little monster germs’ through creative games for kids and activities such as:

  • Teach them a song about handwashing that covers all the steps recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and ensure they wash them for a good 20 seconds. Another good idea would be to use a tune they already know and build a song around it, or turn it into a children’s game. 
  • Make handwashing a contest among kids if you have more than one or join in and announce a small reward for whoever is able to make the most froth/foam. You can make it more fun by dancing with your kids while washing hands. Or give them an objective: put some glitter on their hands and ask them to wash their hands till all of it is off. This will make it feel less like a chore and ensure they do it for as long as they are supposed to.
  • Children respond to routines and rituals best and it can be useful when it comes to making sure they are washing their hands regularly. One way to do this is to lead by example as kids are kinetic and visual learners and love to copy mom and dad. Make sure they see a parent wash their hands before and after eating; before and after touching the face, nose, or sneezing; after picking up toys, playing with pets, going to the restroom, etc.

The best way to protect is to prevent

It is best to keep kids away from play areas, plush toys, and other high-touch surfaces like the floor. Hook them onto an educational show such as ‘Ask the Storybots’ on Netflix which has a whole episode on ‘How do people catch a cold’, or Odd Squad which is a live-action series on the PBS Kids app. iPad games for kids like Osmo Super Studio games, which bring out the artist in kids, or Detective Agency, which puts your kids in the center of a suspense-filled mystery are both engaging and educational. Not only will they safeguard hyper-active kids from touching and spreading germs by ensuring they stay put, they also refine their skills and help develop focus, observation skills, and attention to detail.