Since the Coronavirus outbreak began, hand washing is more important than ever for you and your family. There are some easy things you can say and do to encourage your child to grow his or her speech and language skills during this routine activity!
Why We Wash
Your child may be more likely to cooperate with hand washing throughout the day if you have a discussion with him or her about why it’s important for us to wash our hands. The words you use to explain may be different depending on your child’s age. But in general, try to keep it simple by telling your child that our hands can get germs and washing them keeps them clean and our bodies nice and healthy!
Using a visual can help your child learn the steps involved in hand washing. Write or draw the steps on a piece of paper and hang in your child’s bathroom. Or, print a picture like the one below:
Talk out loud as you and your child wash your hands together. Use words that describe sequence or order, like “First”, “Then”, “Next”, and “Last”. Ask your child to tell you the steps back to check his or her understanding.
Sing a Song
The CDC recommends washing hands for at least 20 seconds. Singing a song while washing can help your child reach this amount of time, by keeping your child motivated and engaged. He or she may even start to sing the words the more they hear the song! Happy Birthday, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or the ABC’s are good choices. You can also adapt the song “This is The Way” to washing hands (“This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands. This is the way we wash our hands, so early in the morning!”).