From Our Blog: Resources for Teaching Kids About Germs & How to Wash Their Hands

Olly Pop teaching kids about germs and hand-washing
For many of us, taking good care of ourselves might be second nature, but for children, healthy habits need to be taught. Teaching kids how to practice healthy living can help prevent germs from spreading, limit their exposure to illness, and set them up for a lifetime of good habits.

Meet Olly Pop

That’s where Olly Pop, our very own health and safety superhero, comes in. She helps children in our centers learn how to take care of their growing bodies and brains through things like illness prevention, playground safety, and nutrition. Olly Pop shows children that wellness can be fun! And part of that is demonstrating proper hand-washing, sneezing, and cleaning techniques. Here are four steps to teach kids how to properly wash their hands.

4 Steps to Washing Hands for Kids

  1. Turn on warm water and get your hands wet. Take your hands out of the water and put some soap on your hands.
  2. With your hands out of the water, scrub them together while counting to 20 or singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  3. Rinse your hands under water to get all the soap and dirt off. Make sure to leave the water on.
  4. Dry your hands with a paper towel. Turn off the water using a paper towel so you don’t get germs back on your nice clean hands!
Another way to open the conversation about hygiene and teach kids about germs is through reading. We’re sharing five books you can read at home to help your children learn about germs.

5 Books to Teach Kids About Germs

  1. Germs Make Me Sick by Melvin Berger (Ages 4-8)
  2. Germs Are Not for Sharing by Elizabeth Verdick (Age 1 and up)
  3. Healthy Kids by Maya Ajmera (Ages 4-8)
  4. Those Mean Nasty Dirty Downright Disgusting…But Invisible Germs by Judith Anne Rice (Ages 5 and up)
  5. Your Skin and Mine by Paul Showers (Ages 4-8)
Looking for at-home activities that teach personal wellness and health and safety? We’ve rounded up some additional resources to help promote healthy habits at home.

Additional Health and Safety Resources for Families

  • We’re sharing four activities and additional experiences that you can weave in at home to help teach your children about germs, hand-washing, and healthy practices.
  • Discover resources to help you teach and implement healthy habits and strike the right balance when talking to your child about COVID-19.
  • Even with busy lives, it’s still possible to work health and wellness into each day. Here are seven healthy activities the whole family will enjoy.
Bright Horizons
About the Author
Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Olly Pop teaching kids about germs and hand-washing