Parenting and health journalist, Carole Beck finds five ways to make hand washing more enjoyable, with a little help from Disney MOANA
Washing yours and your children’s hands is the best thing you can do to stop germs spreading. Cleaning hands four times a day could help to prevent 24% less colds and 51% less stomach upset, according to Minnesota Department of Health. It’s also important to remind kids to wash at keys times – before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet, stroking a pet, sneezing or blowing their nose.
But how can you help the habit stick? Here are five fun ways to help make the routine more fun. See which ones work for you and your little ones.
1. Sing-along while you wash
Washing for the length of a song will help kids stick at hand washing for longer. Pharmacists say it takes 20 seconds of washing to remove germs properly. Try singing ‘Happy birthday’ twice or the chorus of ‘I am Moana’. You could even get some dancing in too. It might sound silly, but it’s guaranteed to have them giggling.
Take a look and see how Mum (Natalie) teaches her daughters, Leah and Libby, to have fun washing their hands.
2. Say goodbye to germs
Try educating your children about germs and bacteria and how hand washing can make them disappear. A good way to do this is to colour their hands with bath crayons on their hands to represent the ‘germs’ to show them how easy it is to wash it off.
3. Try soap surfing
Make hand-washing ‘surfing time’ by filling the sink with a little water and lathering up the soap in their hands to create foamy ‘waves’. Pretend you’re Moana and Maui by ‘hand-sailing’ through the surf. A foam rather than a gel is great for this as it creates more soapsuds!
4. Set them on a cleaning mission
Draw their names or doodle on the sink with a washable marker before hand washing time. Then, encourage your kids to wash the mark away with soap. This means the sink gets a clean, too!
5. Blow soap bubbles
Who doesn’t like blowing bubbles? Once your child is lathered up, encourage them to gently blow soap bubbles through their fingers. Or, have fun bursting the bubbles like Moana.