4 1/2 years old

Back to School Hand Washing Water Play


We have been very busy preparing Ethan to start school in September.  One very important aspect of starting school is self care.  It's so important that children feel confident that they can get themselves dressed for PE, that they can feed themselves at lunchtime and that they can go to the bathroom by themselves.  This includes washing their hands, which is especially important because it will also be the time when they are suddenly exposed to a lot of germs and we want to keep them as healthy as possible.

So as it is summer we thought that the most fun way to learn about washing our hands would be to do it outside in the backyard with a bit of water play!  I filled up a large shallow bucket with water and brought some hand soap and a towel outside with me.

We started by getting our hands wet and putting on a bit of hand soap.  

Then I taught them the seven steps of hand washing:

palm to palm

between fingers

backs of hands

backs of fingers

base of thumbs

finger nails


Then they rinsed (splashed around a bit) and dried their hands.

They absolutely loved it and wanted to do it again and again!  The next step was to get their hands really dirty, so I sent them over to the sandbox to cover their hands in sand, then they came back to do it all again.  This time I asked them to remind me of the steps for washing their hands.

I was so impressed at how much they could remember and how much they enjoyed the activity.  In the days since then Ethan has been making a real effort to wash his hands properly and often calls out to me to remind him what the next step is, it's fantastic!

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This post is part of a Unit Study round up all about going back to school.  Check out these other fantastic activities:

The Best {Back To School} Books For Kids from Play Dough & Popsicles
Back to School Interview for Kids from CraftCreateCalm
Back to School Party Ideas from Schooling a Monkey
Not Back to School Picnic from Tales of Education at Home
Back to School Hand Washing Water Play from Play & Learn Every Day

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