Happy Happy Washday
Buy their favourite soap
Entice your kids to the soap dispenser by choosing their favourite soap so they can enjoy its scent. Liquid and foam soaps are often popular with littlies.
Sing 'happy washday'
Teach them to wash their hands by rubbing them with soap under running water for about 15 to 20 seconds – roughly the time it takes to sing 'Happy Birthday' twice. Change the words to happy washday for fun!
The white towel test
Leave a white hand towel out for them to use to dry their hands. If dirt shows up on the towel, they know they're not washing their hands properly and must try again!
The inkblot test
Some products are now on the market, such as SquidSoap, where they actually stamp a pattern in ink on the hand when the child pushes down on the soap dispenser. This is a great way to teach your child to wash properly – their aim is to wash off the stamp. Alternatively, you can use a non-permanent marker to draw some patterns on their hands and once again, their goal is to wash off the pen.
There are also some fantastic products on the market, such as Inspector Hector Dirt Detector, which contain times colour-changing beads, thus giving an indication of whether the child has washed his hands for long enough. For example, the beads may change colour after 15 or 20 seconds, which means that the child has finished washing their hands properly
Doing it right
Teach the exact process of washing hands. Often, children will just rub their palms together; but rather teach them how to wash between fingers, under and around nails and even up to their wrists.
At least every week you should wash down all bathroom surfaces with antiseptic wipes
Proof of concept
Kids often think washing their hands is a waste of time because they don't really understand it. Explain to them why it is important. Teach them the basics such as germs, which attach to your hands from everything you touch, and vice-versa
Give 'em a wipe
Keep individually-wrapped disinfectant hand-wipes or a small bottle of hand sanitiser handy for times when soap and water aren't available.