Lots of small children love getting dirty, and it is wonderful to allow children to get muddy and to touch things when they are out playing. But all children need to learn to take some responsibility for cleaning themselves up afterwards. It is an EYFS requirement that we encourage small children to learn to show some responsibility in matters of self-care, and this includes teaching children to help to clean themselves!
Everyone needs to keep clean. Children need to be taught that keeping clean helps them to stay healthy. They need to be taught to wash their hands with soap and water before eating and after using the toilet. It is especially important to wash hands after touching animals.
It can help children to imagine ‘germs’ as little bugs that live on your skin and can make you very sick and spread illness to other people. Washing hands with soap and water gets rid of germs.
Lastly, it is important to encourage children to wipe (and later blow) their noses using tissues. The sooner you teach them to do this themselves, rather than doing it for them, the better for everybody!
What are the key points I should tell the children?
- Staying clean helps you to stay healthy
- You need to wash your hands with soap and water before eating and after using the toilet to get rid of germs.
- Brush your hair every day.
- Use a tissue to wipe your nose.
- Put on clean underwear and clean socks every day.
- Wear an art smock if you are going to be doing something messy to help keep your clothes clean.
- Everyone loves to get messy, but learn to take some responsibility for cleaning yourself up afterwards.
Products that can help you to explore the theme ‘getting clean’
Join the Childminding Best Practice Club and get monthly packs of themed activities emailed to you. As well as art projects with templates, each pack includes a planning guide to help you plan around a theme.
Printable safety and health art projects, activities and colouring pages to help childminders to teach 15 safety and health topics including bereavement, road safety, stranger danger, and sun safety and fire safety. Pack includes a section dedicated to learning about germs and hand washing.