Fun Hand Hygiene Activities for Schools
We all know how important hand hygiene is to our collective health and wellbeing, but this practical process can sometimes lack interest for the imaginative and creative minds of kids. Here are a few easy and fun hand hygiene activities for primary-level kids, pre-schoolers and kindergarteners.
Make it visual
Making things visual can help to get the hand hygiene message across for younger kids in an interesting way. Pour a teaspoon of vegetable oil onto kids’ hands then sprinkle with cinnamon or cocoa. If you then ask them to wash their hands and press their hands on a clean paper towel it will be easy for little ones to imagine how many germs can be left behind without a proper wash.
Demonstrate the effects of poor hand hygiene
This is a great exercise for older primary school kids who are learning about scientific foundations and processes. Label three sandwich bags with ‘control’, ‘clean hands’ and ‘unwashed hands’, then place an untouched piece of bread into the ‘control’ bag. Ask children to handle another piece to go into the ‘unwashed’ bag, then ask them to do the same after they’ve thoroughly washed their hands and place this into the ‘washed’ bag. Over time, you’ll see the very real (and disgusting) results of poor hand hygiene!
Spread glittery ‘germs’
If you’re not afraid to get a little glittery, here’s a great way to demonstrate the transmission of pathogens and the importance of hand hygiene in schools. Sprinkle a small amount of different coloured glitter on each child’s hands and ask them to shake hands with each other. Explain that the different colours they now see on their hands could easily be germs spreading through the class.
Sing a song
The process for washing your hands thoroughly should take at least 20 seconds, so why not write a hand washing song together for everyone to sing while they practice good hand hygiene? Nursery rhymes like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star provide easy-to-remember melodies and a rule of thumb for hand washing time, and there’s plenty of musical inspiration on YouTube to get you started.
Design a hand safety poster
Here’s a chance for kids to put all of their new knowledge to good use. Let them get creative with paints and pens in making hand hygiene posters to be put up around the school or in school bathrooms near sinks and hand dryers. This will help to share the message of good hygiene and reinforce your hand washing lesson plan, all at the same time.