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Last Updated on 16th July 2019 by Dr Shivangi

You all know the importance and benefits of hand washing. Washing hands is the best way to stop the spread of germs and prevent not only the kids, but the entire family from falling sick. That’s why you prompt your kids every now and then to wash their hands.

Sometimes you yell, sometimes nag, or sometimes just remind them politely to wash their hands. They may listen or not. And even if they do, they wash hands in such a hurry that all of it goes in vain.

THE SOLUTION is to make your kids learn about hand washing, it’s importance, and proper hand washing steps right from the toddler age.

So, gear up to learn the 4 simple ways to teach hand washing steps to your kids and make them remember without YELLING.


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Here’s what you will learn in this post:

How to Teach Hand Washing Steps to your Preschooler?

Hand washing is a basic thing, but it needs to be taught to your toddlers and preschoolers; to ensure they wash their hands right and stay clean.

Follow these simple tricks to teach:

1.Teach about Germs

Pre-schoolers don’t know what are germs, how they spread, and how you can control them by handwashing. So, you have to teach this first.

And for this, you need SIMPLE LANGUAGE, colourful pictures, and examples from real-life.

I found these 3 things in this book by Elizabeth Verdick. Click here to know more about it on Amazon.

It tells you EXACTLY what words to use and illustrations for easy explaining to the preschoolers. (Ships to India as well) . Click below to grab your copy now.

Also, show them the poster below and explain ‘When to wash the hands’.

Image: thingslink.com

2. Make a hand-washing rhyme

9 Steps to Complete Hand washing includes:

  • Wet your hands and apply the soap
  • Rub your palms
  • Scrub the back of your hands
  • Rub in between the fingers one by one
  • Grab each of your thumb and rub gently
  • Scrub under your fingernails
  • Rinse your hands throrughly with water
  • Dry the hands with a paper towel
  • Dispose the towel in a bin

To make your preschooler remember these 9 hand washing steps, USE this rhyme while washing the hands:

Rub your palms and scrub their backs

Squish between your finger tracks

Grab each thumb, gently twist

Scrub your nails so no germs missed

Rinse your hands, dry your skin

Once that’s done throw in a bin

This rhyme ensures that you follow the basic hand washing steps without making the following mistakes:

Common Mistakes in Washing your Hands

Mistake 1: Not washing the hands long enough

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends to wash your hands for 15-20 seconds. This time period is essential to effectively remove dirt and germs from your hands.

Mistake 2: Skipping the nooks and crannies

Just rinsing and washing the palms is not enough. Germs play hide and seek by residing under your fingernails and in the pockets between your fingers.

*TIP: Just remember this diagram for where to look for the germs and scrub them away.


Mistake 3: Not drying the hands thoroughly

Leaving the restroom with moist or damp hands or just wiping them casually with your dress makes hand washing go in vain. Dampness gives a chance for the germs to breed.

Therefore, ask your kids to dry their hands completely and thoroughly with a clean towel before leaving the washroom or after washing the hands for any purpose.

Mistake 4: Washing only after using the bathroom

Remember the above poster about ‘When to wash hands’?

Take its print out and hang it at a place in your home where kids can easily see and follow the habit of hand washing.

USE this video to explain hand washing steps to your kids:

If your child can’t memorise this rhyme, you have this FREE downloadable checklist of the 9 hand washing steps. It has the kids’ favourite Mickey Mouse cartoon and I am sure they will LOVE it.

Click on download below, take a printout, and hang it on the walls of your washroom above the basin. This helps the kids remember the steps each time they go to wash their hands.

3. Make a kid-friendly wash station

Motivate your kids for maintaining hand hygiene by using these kids-friendly soap dispensers. (See below)

Fill the dispensers with fragrant soaps your kids love. You can also keep a “Clean and Fragrant Hands” competition in your house to see who has the most clean and nice smelling hands.

For users in USA:

For Indian users:

4. Be an example

Kids follow your footsteps.

So, make it a mantra to wash your hands on every ocassion as detailed in the above poster.

What to Conclude about Hand Washing Steps?

Washing the hands in the right way is the most important method to keep germs under control and improve immunity in your toddlers, preschool and school going children. When immunity is good, your kids will automatically fall sick less often.

Related: Read other ways to improve immunity in children

So, TEACH your kids about right hand washing steps with the above METHODS from a tender age.

Now, I wish to hear from you?

Have you taught your child about germs and hand wash? What problems did you face? Share with me in the comments below!

Hope you found this post useful to prevent kids from falling sick?

Do spread a word about it on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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Dr Shivangi Aggarwal

Hi. I am Dr Shivangi Aggarwal, Founder, Mom and Me, practicing as a homoeopathic consultant for child diseases since 10 years. Raising a physically and emotionally healthy child is no less than a challenge today as it is encountered by many hurdles. "Mom and Me" holds your hand to overcome these challenges in the most practical way and give your child a future he will love.


poorvi · August 29, 2018 at 10:34 am

very useful post….its something we tend to ignore in hurry….thanks for sharing

Anshu Bhojnagarwala · August 29, 2018 at 2:26 pm

Also, I trust Dettol as a brand and use Dettol soap, antibacterial washing liquid, sanitizer and wet wipes!

    Dr Shivangi Aggarwal · August 29, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Anshu. Yes, even I use Dettol at my home. But, the point I wish to stress is that even if use the best anti-bacterial soaps, it will go n vain if you don’t take care of these points.

      Anshu Bhojnagarwala · August 30, 2018 at 7:18 am

      Absolutely shivangi.. Apart from the right product the right way of using it is also important

Sonia Chatterjee · August 29, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Insightful and informative post.

Suhana Morgan · March 10, 2019 at 12:23 pm

At first thanks for your wonderful step to clean the hand regularly. it is the best step for me. Here are you provide an infographic that helps me more to teach my child easily and inspire their regular hand washing.

Ben · May 18, 2019 at 3:57 am

Trying to get kids to wash their hands is an absolute bear sometimes. We always try to make it a game somehow.
Ben recently posted…Hand Sanitizer: Best Natural Hand Sanitizers To Keep Your Hands CleanMy Profile

    Dr Shivangi Aggarwal · May 18, 2019 at 8:44 am

    Yes, I agree with you Ben that sometimes it’s difficult to get your toddlers to wash their hands. That’s why I have given a link to a book by Elizabeth Verdick which I found very useful in this regard. Sorry, due to some technical glitch, the link is appearing at the bottom of the post in the footer. If you wish, you can have a look. May be it will be of help. 🙂 I am working to resolve that glitch as soon as possible.

nasir uddin · May 20, 2019 at 10:38 am

very useful post and informative post
nasir uddin recently posted…Best Alkaline Water Filter Review 2019My Profile

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