Practicing good hand washing is one of the simplest ways to avoid sicknesses and prevent contamination in your home. Teaching your kids healthy hand washing habits at home can go a long way to prevent picking up nasty bacterial infections or viruses and sharing them with the family. Recently I have been working with my little guy to help him develop healthy hand washing habits. I'm trying to creatively make it fun for him too! By giving him some fun ways to learn and remember how to properly wash his hands I hope to instill long lasting healthy hand washing habits that will come naturally to him even when he's away from home. Here's a few pointers for how to make hand washing fun and easy for little kids.
Friction created by the lathering and scrubbing motion is what will help to most effectively remove germs and microbes from those cute little fingers. It's important to make sure your kids know how to really scrub their hands well! These adorable Scrub Bugs which were inspired by surgeon's sponges are the perfect way to make good hand washing fun and easy for kids of all ages.
Scrub Bugs have been shown to get hands 3x cleaner than using soap and water alone. I love how easy they are for even my 2 1/2 year old to hold on his own. Scrub Bugs have both a spongy material for scrubbing the skin and soft bristles for cleaning under fingernails which can trap all kinds of germs. My little guy loves to wash his hands with his Scrub Bug. He is actually better at remember to wash his hands before eating than I am most of the time because he loves using them so much. When not in use Scrub Bugs stand upright allowing them to air dry and stay clean. Because they are so effective and help to get hands so thoroughly clean I think these Scrub Bugs should be a hand washing essential for all families! Visit myscrubbugs.com to order your own or learn more about these fun, effective hand washing essentials!
It's generally recommended that you wash your hands for at least 15-30 seconds at a time to remove most germs and microbes. To help your little ones know how long to wash have them sing a simple song like "Happy Birthday" 2 times in a row as a timer.
Train your kids to inspect all parts of their hands for those tricky germs that like to hide! Tell them to search the tops, bottoms and in between fingers as they scrub. Make hand washing a "game" of finding all the germs as a fun way to teach thorough hand washing. My son has started saying things like "where are you hiding germs?" as he scrubs away!
Songs are a great way for kids to remember everything you've just taught them about HOW to wash their hands! Singing also acts as the "timer" to ensure they are scrubbing for an efficient amount of time. I found a list of fun hand washing songs to the tune of well known children's songs that are simple for a preschooler to learn. See the Hand Washing Songs list here!
Recently the FDA ruled that antibacterial soaps are not only ineffective but also possibly unsafe because of the chemicals triclosan and triclocarban. Choose soaps that are free from potentially harmful substances and unnecessary additives that can irritate little ones' sensitive skin. This Argan Oil Moisturizing Hand Soap from Live Clean is my current favorite choice for keeping our family's hands soft and clean! It suds nicely, has a mild and natural smelling scent, and leaves our hands feeling very moisturized!
Live Clean is an Eco-friendly company that offers an affordable line of quality, Eco-friendly body and hair care products for the entire family. I've also been using their Argan Oil Restorative Shampoo/Conditioner in the shower and love how soft and clean they leave my hair feeling! Their products are made primarily from plant derived ingredients and are free from harsh ingredients and unnecessary additives such as parabans, phthalate, and SLS. I appreciate how affordable their products are and that they can be conveniently be found in super markets such as Target and Walmart as well as Amazon.com. I've been very pleased with all the Live Clean products I've tried, learn more about these Eco-friendly products that are safe for the entire family by visiting their website live-clean.com.
Remember that when it comes to healthy hand washing it's important to teach little ones WHEN to wash their hands as well as how. We incorporate hand washing into our daily routine by washing before meals, after outdoor play, after running errands and after potty/diaper changes, etc. as well as any time we handle something "dirty." By being consistent in the habit of having him wash up at these proper times when he's at home with me I hope that (in time) it will come naturally to him when he is away from home as well.
My little man has been learning and trying so many new things on his own recently. It makes me proud but also teary eyed because he's growing up too quickly! Look how proud he was of himself after washing, rinsing and drying his hands "all by myself!" I love the confidence it gives kids when they learn something new that they are able to do on their own.
I hope these simple ideas are helpful for you in teaching your little ones learn how to do their part to prevent spreading sickness and keep your home clean. What are some other ways you've found to help your kids develop healthy hand washing habits?
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