Handwashing has always been a healthy habit and often a life-skill taught in special education classrooms. With a highly contagious virus now in our midst, proper handwashing is now a critical skill that everyone needs to learn.
Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I thought I’d collect what I feel are some of the best books, resources and websites to help you encourage and teach handwashing. Click through, and hopefully you will find what works for you and your children.
Do Not Lick This Book by Idan Ben-Barak
Wash, Wash, Wash by Pamela Chanko
Germs Make Me Sick by Melvin Berger
A Germ’s Journey: Dirty Hands! Clean Hands! by Katie Laird and Sarah Younie
Germs Are Not For Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick
https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/index.html This is the CDC website, with excellent information and free printables, which are also available in Spanish.
https://gchd.us/handwashing-information/ This information is put together by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. A large variety of free materials available in many languages.
https://www.care.com/c/stories/4211/teaching-about-germs-for-kids-making-it-fun/ Compiled by Care.com this website is like a one stop unit on preventing the spread of germs.
https://youtu.be/NoxdS4eXy18 Germ Smart-Wash Your Hands
https://youtu.be/Vl6r3ae0Xls Germs, Facts All Kids Should Know
https://youtu.be/ztFgToNOmck Prevent Spread of Germs – Check Whether You Are Safe (discusses ways germs are spread)
https://simplelivingcreativelearning.com/how-to-wash-your-hands-sequencing/ A free packet from Simple Living Creative Learning
https://www.twinkl.com/resource/washing-your-hands-sequencing-activity-sheet-us-p-2548554 You need to sign up to access this resource, and then you can download one premium resource each week for free.
Some children resist washing their hands because of sensory issues. Here are some ideas to try to help them overcome their discomfort:
1) Offer soap choices; liquid, bar, shaving cream, shampoo
2) Offer choices of smell, including unscented
3) Put a bar of soap in a sock, tie or sew the end closed, and use like “soap on a rope”
4) Put liquid soap on a washcloth
5) Fill the sink with warm water, add liquid soap and let the child play. As they are playing you can rub their hands to wash away germs
6) Use hand sanitizer (Soap is the preferred method. Do not make your own sanitizer. From everything I’ve read, it is very difficult to get the proportions right to make it an effective alternative. Click link below for more information) https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/03/health/coronavirus-diy-hand-sanitizer-trnd/index.html
Looking for some free visuals to support a unit on hygiene? Click here to download free line drawing and photo images.
I hope you find these resources helpful. Wishing you all the best in health and safety!