The hands dance
For effective hand washing, wet and soap them for at least 20 seconds, rubbing in all corners (between fingers, on the back and palms). This can be quite a challenge for a child.
You could teach them a little choreography so they cleans their hands according to the rules of the art. Invent movements together to clean the spaces between each of the fingers and show them how to make circular movements in the palm of their hands to properly clean the nails.
Pick a song they like and ask them to sing the chorus while they lather their hands to make sure the wash lasts the required 20 seconds.
Did you know?
Children under the age of 4 generally need supervision to wash their hands effectively.
Learning through play
Why not do a weekend project and make your homemade soap? Your children will want to use them more when washing their hands. Try the recipe for plasticine bath soap from our collaborator Wooloo.ca
For even more fun, do some of our fun science experiments with soap.
A motivation chart
The motivation board is a very practical tool to encourage children to stay motivated and to do good deeds. We particularly like the "motivational set of my good deeds" from Quebec company Minimo. Ideal for children from the age of 2, the board allows them to proudly advance the star themselves after making a good move, in this case, after each hand wash.
Choose beautiful, colorful and fragrant soaps to make hand washing attractive. Leave two soaps available near the sink. They will be able to choose the one they prefer when washing their hands.
Do you have crocodile hands? The first tip is to take it easy with abrasive cleansers and alcohol-based disinfectants (like Purell) that can alter the skin barrier by repetitive use. Clean your hands with mild neutral pH soaps and put on rubber gloves for washing dishes or cleaning to protect your hands from water.
Apply daily moisturizer to your hands and your children's hands too! Take the opportunity to massage your hands and fingers for a few minutes. Do the same with your children before bedtime... guaranteed serenity!