Your Healthy Family: Getting kids engaged in handwashing

Posted at 7:25 AM, Sep 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 07:52:14-04

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us a lot about our health and safety. One of the biggest things it's taught us is the importance of washing your hands. If you're having trouble getting your kids to stick to the 20-second rule for hand washing, there's a fun experiment you can try to get your kids engaged.

Kristin Denzer, the CEO & Founder of Tierra Encantada Daycare & Preschool, said for this trick, all you need is water, dried herbs, and hand soap. First, add some water to a plate.

"Then you're going to add your germs. So the dried herbs represent your germs. Just add them to the water, and then you'll have your children look and see the germs stick to your hand," Denzer said.

She said to then have your kids wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.

"Then you tell them to go ahead and dip their hand back on the plate, and they'll see as they go to do it, the germs move away. And you can just talk about how germs... you can't see them always, but they're there. And having clean hands helps make sure that the germs stay away," she said.

Denzer said getting kids to understand the importance of hand washing early is key.

"When you have young toddlers, maybe you're using disinfectant wipes on their hands. But really, hand washing is the best way to clean your hands. And so from as old as your child can sit up, you really should be washing their hands with them. That helps show them from one year old until they get to the point where they can do it themselves, it just becomes a normal part of their routine," she said.

Denzer said to make hand washing a fun activity for your kids by involving them in all aspects of it: bring them to the store, and have them pick the color and smell of their soap to make them more excited to use it.