Making hand washing fun for kids (and some adults too!)

***Important advice about hand washing during the Coronavirus pandemic from Dermatologist Professor Sara Brown***

 “I wanted to highlight that washing hands with emollients or soap subs is not effective against Covid-19 so even eczema patients should use soap and then afterwards apply emollient.

 “Covid-19 virus has a lipid outer coat (a layer made of fats) so it’s killed by soap or detergent because that disrupts the fat – like washing up liquid lifts grease off plates – so you need soap or detergent when hand washing.

 “Alcohol in sufficient concentration also disrupts the viral coat, but it stings on any breaks in the skin & when hands are visibly dirty you need soap/detergent.

 “You should also be prepared to step up steroid use on hands.

“Please emphasise this is for hand-washing for the hygiene recommendations … you should continue to bathe in soap substitute to avoid a flare of eczema all over!”

– Dr Sara Brown, Professor of Molecular and Genetic Dermatology, Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Dundee

How to make hand washing fun for kids (and adults!)

Making handwashing fun…sounds like a tall order. Luckily here at ScratchSleeves HQ, we found ourselves with the same dilemma – it feels like we are constantly at the sink!

As it turns out we discovered that rather than just having to stick to singing Happy Birthday twice there are lots of other things you can sing that take the magical 20 seconds (or just over!)

Giggling at each other singing random kids songs from the bathroom, we suddenly realised there was something to be said for this! Here are our top tips for keeping children (and us apparently) entertained whilst washing paws!

Songs to sing while hand washing

Of course, the possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

Making hand washing fun for kids (and some adults too!)

Good luck getting this lot out of your head…ever!!!

Tess’s personal favourite idea: 

Put a piece of paper on the bathroom door counting down 10 to 1. Every time they wash their hands get them to sing Ten Green Bottles but in descending order.

One hand wash is one number ticked off. If you have more than one child you can set a challenge to see who washed their hands most! 

Things to do while hand washing

Not up for a sing song? 

How about using those 20 second blocks to get a bit of learning done? No, not spellings or times tables (although I did think about it for my 9 year old! Poor child…)

Tell your child on the way to the bathroom that they have 20 seconds to tell you something you don’t know about their day, their thoughts, something that made them laugh…take it in turns.

It is tough getting information out of little ones sometimes, it’s amazing what you can learn in 20 seconds, trust me!

Up for a family challenge?

Jae and Tess experimented one day by drawing a shape with a biro (Jae) and a sharpie (Tess) at the base of our thumbs. It’s an area that we often miss washing hands (especially little people) so we thought it would be interesting to see how long both lasted.

After laughing at the fact we looked like we’d gone and got REALLY bad tattoos done we did handwash Round 1.

The biro came off almost immediately. It took the sharpie to come off until bedtime! So get creative and draw on your child! It’s a good way to monitor if older ones actually ARE washing hands as well…yes dads we’re talking to you.

We hope something here inspires you! Happy handwashing! Please also check out the following posts which may be helpful to you:

Hand washing and Eczema

Helping Kids with Chapped Hands


Here at ScratchSleeves, we don’t just share our experiences of bringing up an eczema child and favourite allergy-friendly recipes, we also manufacturer and sell our unique stay-on scratch mitts and PJs for itchy babies, toddlers and children. We now stock sizes from 0-adult years in a range of colours. Visit our main website for more information.

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