Just about every restroom in every preschool has at least one colorful, kid-friendly poster intended to remind children of the proper steps to hand washing. Just about every preschool is aware of the need for teachers to remind, supervise, and remind again, about washing those hands. These are very good things.
There is one thing, however, I’ve noticed missing from just about every hand washing poster I see: the step that requires children turn to the faucet off with the paper towel they dried their hands with. I seldom hear teachers remind children to turn off the faucet with a paper towel either.
It is important, isn’t it? If they turn the faucet off without a paper towel they are essentially contaminating themselves with the very same germs they just washed down the drain! That has a very high YUCK factor!
Out of curiosity I Goggled, “kid friendly hand washing posters.” Of the six I reviewed just one of them included a “turn the faucet off with a paper towel” step. That poster, from the Iowa Department of Public Health, simply titled, Washing Your Hands, is one I highly recommend to child care centers. I like it because it shows photographs of a real child partaking in each of the important steps of proper hand washing. Though I think it’s cute to use cartoon characters in kid-friendly posters, I believe children relate better to those that show real children, someone they could in fact imagine going to school with or playing on the playground with.
A few sites that offer some great hand washing activities for young children include:
“Wash, wash, wash your hands, wash them everyday…scrub, scrub, scrubby, scrub, wash those germs away!”
Most teachers know that it’s fun and important to teach children to sing a song while washing their hands, in order to ensure they wash long enough to unstick those sticky germs.
What songs do you teach children to sing while washing?