Kids can sometimes be careless when it comes to personal hygiene. And poor hygiene can spread illnesses, like the flu. Therefore, it’s very important that we teach children good hygiene as soon as possible. Here are some activities you can use with your child that will make personal hygiene interesting by playing games that will help hit home the importance of hygiene.
Many children only rinse their hands quickly under water, if they wash at all. But hands should be scrubbed with an antibacterial soap for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Sprinkle a little glitter on your child’s hands and challenge him to wash off the glitter with soap and water. Because glitter is naturally sticky, it will take up to 30 seconds to scrub the glitter away. Then indicate that your child should scrub off germs like he did the glitter each time that he washes.
Teach children about the spread of germs by showing how germs can live on hands and the things they touch. Pretend to sneeze, and when you do, cover your hands in a washable paint. Then go about your business as usual, touching things around the room. Everywhere you touch, you will leave small traces of the paint. The kids will see how germs transfer. Have the kids find and count all the surfaces where germs now live from your transferring them around the room.
You can play a matching game that teaches kids the various tools for personal hygiene and which body part to use them on by creating a matching game. On one set of cards, draw pictures of soap, a toothbrush, fingernail clippers or mouthwash. Then create another set of cards with shoes, hands, teeth, nails, and mouth. Flip all of the cards over and have the children try to match the tool to the body part.
Good Habit, Bad Habit
Hit home the importance of good hygiene habits when you play this sorting game with children, instructs Pennsylvania State University. On pieces of paper, write 10 good hygiene habits, such as flossing each night, washing for 20 seconds or covering your mouth when you couch. On 10 more pieces of paper, write down the bad habits. Fold all of the pieces of paper and place them in a hat. The children can draw out one at a time and decide whether it’s a good hygiene habit or a bad hygiene habit.
Help kids get the motions right by playing hygiene charades. One child picks an action for hygiene, such as brushing teeth, coughing into a sleeve or taking a shower. Then the child acts out the hygiene habit without using any words. The other children guess what action is being portrayed and then you talk about the proper way to do each hygiene habit.