In this current situation, it seems imperative to educate children about germs and the importance of hygiene. Especially as they are looking to start school, where they will be given a lot more independence and responsibility to care for themselves.
That is why it is important to educate your little one, about washing their hands and disposing of germs safely, at home to build good habits for when they start school.
However, discussing germs with your child can be a confusing topic, as germs are invisible to the naked eye. At Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group, we find a simple explanation, coupled with visual activities, is the best introduction.
You should try to explain that germs, although too small to see, are everywhere and can stick to anything, from surfaces to your hands. Not all germs are bad, but some can make us ill.
Once the germs are on our hands we can transfer them to anything we touch, including our faces (eyes, nose and mouth) or food, the germs can then travel into our belly and that is what makes us ill. To stop them from making us ill we need to wash our hands.
To effectively clean your hands of germs, it is recommended that you wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. Some have recommended singing, ‘Happy Birthday’. However, many little ones with our nurseries were very confused why it is their birthday everyday but they are not receiving presents!
To make sure little ones are washing for the recommended time, as well as practising their maths, we asked them to count slowly to 20 while they wash.
Their sleeve, your shirt or just the back of their hand…little ones can be resourceful when they need to wipe their nose. However, it is important to encourage good habits from an early age, by making your child ask for a tissue when their nose is runny and show them that the tissue needs to go straight into the bin after use. Keep reinforcing this habit - and make sure to always have a pack of tissues to hand. Catching the germs in a tissue, throwing it in the bin and then washing our hands, is the best way to stop the spread of germs.
Young children respond better to visual and physical activities. We’ve put together some great activities to help explain the difficult concept of battling the invisible opponent of germs, whilst having fun!
Since the rise of Coronavirus a video of this activity has gone viral. It involves showing the powerful effects of soap against germs in an experiment that children can see before their eyes.
When your little one sneezes, they are probably unaware of the germs that get projected into the air and onto everything in sight. It is important that they learn to cover their mouths and noses when sneezing and coughing to stop the spread of germs.