Teaching children about germs and washing hands Family

For many of us, taking care of ourselves may be a matter of course, but healthy habits must be taught to children. Teaching children how to live a healthy life can help prevent germs from spreading, limit their risk of illness, and set them up for a life of good habits.

Meet Olly Pop

This is where Olly Pop comes in, our own superhero for health and safety. It helps children in our centers learn how to take care of their growing bodies and brains, for example through disease prevention, playground safety and nutrition. Olly Pop shows children that wellness can be fun!

Part of this is demonstrating the right hand washing, sneezing, and cleaning techniques. Here are four steps to teach children how to wash their hands properly.

4 steps for washing hands for children

  1. Turn on warm water and get your hands wet. Take your hands out of the water and put some soap on your hands.
  2. Scrub your hands out of the water while counting to 20 or sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  3. Rinse your hands under water to remove soap and dirt. Make sure the water stays on.
  4. Dry your hands with a paper towel. Switch off the water with a paper towel so that you don’t get any germs back on your beautiful, clean hands!

Another way to open the conversation about hygiene and teach children about germs is to read. We share five books that you can read at home so your children can learn more about germs.

5 books to teach germs to children

  1. Germs make me sick by Melvin Berger (4-8 years)
  2. Germs are not for sharing by Elizabeth Verdick (from 1 year)
  3. Healthy children by Maya Ajmera (ages 4-8)
  4. These nasty, dirty, downright disgusting … but invisible germs by Judith Anne Rice (from 5 years)
  5. Your and my skin by Paul Showers (4-8 years)

Are you looking for activities at home that convey personal well-being, health and safety? We have pooled some additional resources to promote healthy habits at home.

Additional health and safety resources for families

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