Helping children form hygiene habits for life - Step4
Helping children form hygiene habits for life

Helping children form hygiene habits for life

With cold and flu season upon us, good hygiene in your early learning centre is more important now than ever. We know how hard you work to maintain excellent hygiene in your early learning centre, but getting the children in your centre to share your enthusiasm is easier said than done.

So, how can you get the children on-board and happy about tackling basic cleaning tasks and practicing good hygiene? It’s simpler than you think! Play-based activities are a great way to manifest positive attitudes towards hygiene and create good habits that continue well beyond the walls of your early learning centre.

These are our favourite activities for encouraging good hygiene.

  1. Water bottle decoration

Most children in your early learning centre won’t be able to read their own name label and so many water bottles look the same, so it’s no surprise they get mixed up and shared so easily, no matter how hard to try to keep them contained. Unfortunately, a few shared water bottles here and there can lead to a room full of runny noses. Why not dedicate a chunk of the day to getting each child to decorate their own water bottle? Purchase some plain, inexpensive water bottles and lay out materials such as paint, glitter and stickers. Every child will have their own unique bottle that they’re more likely to recognise and happily drink from. If you have the capacity to wash them up each day, try and keep them at your centre.

  1. Daily cleaning time

Instill enthusiasm for cleaning from an early age by having structured cleaning time each day. This could mean using child-friendly brooms to sweep up craft materials from the floor, or getting the children to wipe down their eating areas after a meal. Make it fun by setting it to music and encouraging dancing while they clean. Doing this every day also encourages routine establishment and the development of fine motor skills.

  1. Handwashing fun

Handwashing doesn’t have to be boring! Turning the practice of handwashing into an engaging sensory experience helps to make it fun and easier to form a routine. Before the children wash their hands, add a small bath bomb into the sink. Children will love seeing the fizzy, colourful reaction between the soap, water and bath bomb, turning a mundane task into a fun experience. Also experiment with scented soap, encouraging children to talk about the smells as it bubbles up.

Continuity is key when it comes to maintaining good hygiene habits. It’s important to communicate each activity with each child’s family and encourage them to continue the habits at home. Ways families can do this include:

  • Purchasing a mini broom or mop so children can assist their family members with cleaning
  • Mixing up the hand soaps they use to create some variety in scents and bubbles
  • Limiting the number of water bottles at home to just one or two. This will help children to be more familiar with what’s theirs and establish a routine of reaching for the same bottle each time

For our full range of cleaning items, including cloths that can be used by children, click here.

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