Fun ways to encourage young children to wash their hands

Fun ways to encourage young children to wash their hands

Fun ways to encourage young children to wash their hands

We’ve assembled a range of fun activities to help encourage young children to adopt good hand hygiene practises.  Very little cost is attached and all can be incorporated into the daily activities in Nurseries and Pre-Schools.

Play Football

Bring the class or group together to talk about how germs are transferred. Put a special luminescent / glow in the dark powder on a football and then have the kids throw the ball around outside.  Take the children inside and turn off the lights so that all they can see is the powder. The children should then be surprised to see the powder is on their faces, hands, and arms.  Time for a talk on the transfer of germs and the importance of handwashing

Now the kids have visual evidence of just how gross their hands can make everything.

This idea came from Angie Grant Elementary in Benton, Arkansas.

Sing a Song

We’ve already talked about the good use of an easy to memorise nursery rhyme in our article on the findings of a hospital and Nursery school in Ontario.  They had adapted the Frere Jacques rhyme but we’d suggest that any short rhyme can be reworked as long as it is about 20 seconds long.  The Happy Birthday song sung twice is about 20 seconds in duration.

Paint a Picture

Get the youngsters to get arty and create their own special posters with the 5 steps of

  • Wet
  • Soap
  • Wash
  • Rinse
  • Dry

Use our free to download Puff Poster to help explain to the budding artists.

Fun with Foam

Hand washing for little ones should never be a chore so make it fun with a foaming soap from friendly-looking dispenser – keeps the mess down as well for staff.  Children love foam and will love the soft feeling it creates.


No, not building anything but by doing it yourself – correctly every time.  Children learn by observation.  So if you and your colleagues make sure to practice great hand washing at all times, the wee ones will copy.

Tick the Box

Why not create a chart for both staff and children to mark off every time they wash their hands correctly – no prizes needed, just the simple enjoyment of children getting to add their proud ticks to a nice big and visible chart.  Maybe the art sessions could be incorporated into this.

A Happy Place

This is the most important bit.  Make sure the washroom is a fun place to visit with no loud noises, scary equipment or, dare we say it, nasty smells.  Loud noises and scary equipment, at the wrong height especially, is intimidating for little ones.  We’ve got solutions for that.  Pongy smells are inevitable in washrooms, even children’s ones.  Make sure you have decent air purifier units to get rid of the smells as quickly as they are created.

We hope you find these suggestions helpful to help young children wash their hands properly and effectively.  Let us know if you have another activity or which one of our suggestions you found useful