Healthy Bodies are Happy Bodies

This month, we have been learning how keeping our body healthy helps us to feel good and grow strong. Not only do personal hygiene skills help children’s overall well-being, but they also support their growing sense of independence and responsibility.

Age-appropriate Adaptations:

  • Two-year-olds—It’s also important that you show your child how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth. They will only become proficient at these skills through lots and lots of practice. But hygiene can be fun! Consider singing a familiar song like “Row Row Row Your Boat” twice while washing hands to take up the recommended 30 seconds. Your child will pick it up over time.
  • Three-year-olds—As you engage in normal family routines, model for your child how you practice good personal hygiene. Explain to your child what you are doing and why you are doing it. For example, you can say, “Right now I am washing the apples to remove any germs before we eat our snack” or “I always use a napkin to wipe my hands and face after a meal, so I stay clean.”
  • Four-/Five-year-olds—Practice healthy habits with your child, such as proper handwashing, covering your sneezes, and using tissues to blow your nose. Then conduct a simple experiment to explored how germs spread and what you can do to prevent illness. Fill the bottom of a pan with water. Sprinkle a lot of black pepper in the water to represent germs. Ask your child to mix the water using one hand/finger (you can use gloves for this experiment). Coat the other hand/finger with dish soap and see what happens when your child tries to mix the pepper water now. Watch as the soap dispels or pushes the pepper away. Talk about how washing your hands not only wipes away dirt and germs, but it can also protect you from other germs like a suit of armor.

Skills Supported: personal hygiene, health, responsibility, self-help skills, independence