Easy Ways to Help Your Kids Understand the Importance of Washing Their Hands RSS

Posted June 2023

Written by Jamie Barrows

The battle to get your kids to wash their hands seems never-ending. When asked if they have washed their hands (after using the restroom, before dinner, etc.), only 1 in 4 parents actually believe their kids when they say they have (Esposito). Teaching children good hygiene habits from a young age is crucial to that child's long-term health. So, how do we teach our children the importance of this simple task that so often gets fibbed through? Making the process fun and engaging is vital. Here are a few easy ways to help your kids participate and understand the importance of washing their hands.

Lead by Example

Children often pick up their parents' habits, so make those habits good ones. If they see you washing your hands regularly, they will likely imitate you. Make your handwashing visible to your children. You may also consider making it a family ritual to wash your hands together. Talk to your children throughout the process to explain why you are doing it and why it is necessary after such activities are playing outdoors or before a meal.

Get Creative

Look for children's books that emphasize the importance of handwashing. Make a storytime out of it every month or two as a reminder for your kids. Alternatively, you could turn handwashing into a fun activity by introducing a
song or rhyme. As your kids sing along, they can lather up and learn simultaneously. This idea can also help your children wash their hands for the recommended 20 seconds.

Use Visual Aids

Colors and shapes are wonderful visual cues that children respond well to. Place colorful images like printouts, posters, or flashcards near the sinks in your home with encouraging reminders to wash your hands. Track their progress with stickers or drawings and provide a reward to make it fun.

Take Your Child Shopping

Let your child become part of the fun. Take them to the store, where they can pick out their very own soap. Many kid-friend options across department stores feature funky shapes, colors, glitter, or candy-inspired scents. Next, bring them to the bath and shower section and allow them to choose hand towels or shower poufs with their favorite animal or movie character.
One of the best things to remember when teaching your kids about proper handwashing habits is they learn best by repetition. You'll need to continuously remind and encourage them to wash their hands throughout each day to reduce illness and improve their hygiene overall. By making handwashing a fun and regular part of their routine, you'll help your kids develop good hygiene habits that will benefit them for a lifetime. 


Esposito, Christine. "Trust but Verify? Parents Are Skeptical of Children's Handwashing Claims." Happi Magazine, 24 Mar. 2023,