It’s easy to get children started on basic routines for proper hygiene habits. With a few reminders (and perhaps a little nagging), they’ll get the hang of hand washing, nose wiping and all the other things they’ll need to learn.
Model Good Behaviour
Kids learn a lot by watching and imitating. Invite kids to stay with you when you’re washing your face, brushing your teeth or combing your hair, or turn hygiene into a game and have them copy your steps (or you copy theirs). By them time the fun wears off, the routine will be ingrained. Enlist older siblings or friends to help get hands washed for dinner, noses wiped, and hair done as part of your daily family schedule.
Give Them a Sign
Help small kids learn necessary steps with a visual checklist. Print off signs to remind kids about steps in their toileting routine with good visual cues for non-readers. Post the signs at children’s eye level. You can make them yourself, or order them from sites like Etsy. We particularly love these monkey reminders, however many education sites provide free basic step-by-step visual charts, like this one and this one for hand washing.
Sing It Out
Hands aren’t clean until they’ve been scrubbed with soap for at least 20 seconds. Happily, that’s about as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday,” so encourage kids to belt out a tune while they scrub up with warm water and plenty of suds. It makes the task fun and ensures they get those hands clean. Make up a silly song about the five key times to wash hands: before eating, after sneezing or coughing, after playing outside, with animals, or after using the bathroom. There’s a Top 10 Kids’ Hit in there somewhere. And if your kids haven’t learned the Kleenex® Brand “Shield, Sneeze, Swish*” routine yet, now is a perfect time to learn!
Make it easy for little ones to stay on routine by ensuring supplies are close at hand. Keep Kleenex® Brand in easy-to-reach places so kids aren’t caught off-guard by a sneeze, and stash a Kleenex® Brand On The Go pack in their backpacks, or pant pockets. Keep a Kleenex® Brand Auto Pack in convenient reach for those moments in the car when a parent needs to react quickly. Make sure the bathroom soap dispenser is well-stocked and easy to use, or find fun-scented soaps. Set aside a colourful towel reserved just for your little one, and stash toothbrushes in a fun brush holder, like one of the holders here.