Children need to learn the value of good personal hygiene. It is crucial for them to know how to keep germs at bay by keeping themselves clean. If a sense of personal hygiene can be instilled during early childhood, then it will likely become a natural habit. It is possible to implement the methods of cleanliness as a fun activity for your child, rather than a boring chore. The skills and routines he learns will then last a lifetime.
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Turn bath time into an educational playtime so your children can learn about their body parts and how to clean each area properly. Deliver a simple lesson by using a baby doll, soap and a washcloth. Demonstrate to your children the areas that need particular focus and the cleansing techniques for each. Then, let your children practice on the doll and themselves.
Your children need to know about the importance of brushing their teeth to prevent tooth decay. Help them learn about brushing teeth with fun activities. Look through magazines to find and cut out pictures of happy smiles showing beautiful, white teeth. Alternatively, have your children draw a smiling mouth -- with lips and teeth -- on a piece of yellow construction paper. Help your children paint the lips red. Then, with unused toothbrushes, let the kids brush white paint over the yellow teeth to show how brushing can make a difference. Remind your children that they should only use clean toothbrushes in their mouths.
Emphasise to your children that handwashing is the best way to wipe away germs, and must be done frequently throughout each day. Help children learn that they should work up a foamy lather and scrub their hands for about 20 seconds for effective washing. Help your children mark the time by singing a favourite song and noting the part of the song that signals 20 seconds. Or, see how many times your child can say the alphabet in 20 seconds. Encourage your child to make up his own unique handwashing song about wiping away the germs, which he can sing each time he turns on the water.
Encourage your children to put on a play or puppet show illustrating what they have learnt about hygiene. Help your children decide on characters, which might include a doctor, patients, children and parents. Use the lessons your children have learnt at home and school to create a story about hygiene and proper care of the body. This activity will help your children remember the value of staying clean.
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