Hygiene: Fun Activities to Teach Kids Personal Hygiene
Integrated Learning Strategies is excited to feature kids hygiene with guest blogger Christine Hill While many of the recommendations below are great for children and parents, some accommodations or exceptions may be made for children with learning challenges and learning disabilities.
As your child moves from infancy into toddlerhood (and beyond), there are some things that she needs to learn to take care of for themselves. While sharing toys, counting, and listening to instructions might rank high in the list of must-have-skills, we’d argue that hygiene is up at the top, too.
You know that hygiene is important, but how can you make your child understand to prioritize it? Energetic kids have no time and patience for hand-washing, nose-blowing, and tooth-brushing! Well, as with everything you teach your child, it goes a lot better when you make it fun! Here are some great games, activities, and experiments that can help get your child excited about personal hygiene and encourage them to be cleaner.
This activity shows how easily germs can spread from person to person. It can also illustrate the importance of washing hands effectively. Here’s what you do:
- Add some glitter to your child’s hand and then have them do some activities: open the door, play with toys, color, or grab a snack. Then retrace your child’s steps and show her how much glitter was left behind.
- If you have a few kids around, try a variation on the activity. Put a sprinkle of glitter in one child’s hand, and then ask him to shake hands with everyone else in the room. Again, retrace his steps and note how much glitter was left behind.
- Once you’ve finished the activity, help your child wash her hands. Note that it takes at least 30 seconds of solid scrubbing with soap in order to get rid of all the glitter.
Just like germs, the glitter sticks everywhere, and can be very tricky to wash off. Teach your child that germs are small and invisible, but they can still spread, and cause problems with our health.
Fun with Flossing
Is it possible to make your child enjoy flossing and brushing? Well, give it a try with these two activities that illustrate the importance of dental hygiene:
- Make a giant tooth model using egg cartons. You might want to paint or color it, if you’re feeling particularly creative that day. Put chunks of play-do in between each “tooth” and give your child a length of yarn to floss with. Let them have fun cleaning out the teeth and restoring the model mouth to dental brilliance.
- Illustrate tooth-staining and the importance of brushing using an egg and some juice or coke. Let a boiled white egg rest in a glass of colored liquid for a day, and then take a close look at it. It will most likely be dyed with a yelllowish tinge. Eggshells and teeth are surprisingly similar, and they can hold stains the same way. Once you and your child have examined the stain, show them how to clean the egg with a toothbrush and whitening toothpaste. It will take some scrubbing, but soon you’ll see the contrast between the brushed and unbrushed area. Teach your child that their teeth become dirty and stained throughout the day because of the food and drinks that we consume. Brushing with toothpaste can help them clean off the stains that accumulate each day.
Sniffly Noses and Speed Races
We all know how difficult it is to have a kid with a runny nose. They sniffle, wipe, and smear it all over their hands, their clothes, and the house. It’s annoying when you’re at home, and downright embarrasing if you’re out and about. Getting that child to stay still long enough to blow their nose is a chore that you have to do over and over again.
What’s challenging about nose-blowing is that your child just doesn’t know how to blow air through her nose. This makes the whole process difficult and frustrating for both of you. So start by making blowing air out her nose a fun game.
Get two feathers (or more, if more want to join). Cover your mouth with your hand, and then blow the feather across the table using only your nose. Show your child how to do it, and then have a race! Whoever can get their feather to the other side of the table first, wins. Once your child is used to blowing air out her nose, introduce tissues and show her how to blow just one nostril at a time.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs