How to Teach Children about the Importance of Washing their Hands

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A plate full of viruses and a little soap is all it takes to explain to children the importance of hand washing. This behavior is essential to combat the spread of the coronavirus that in Spain already leaves more than 5,100 infected and more than 130 dead, according to the latest figures known at the end of this article.

Experts have been recommending for weeks that everyone, even the smallest, cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing with clothes or their elbows; the social distance of one meter or more is maintained, and that they wash their hands on a recurring basis, reaching the time of this act up to one minute.

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But many times it is very difficult for fathers and mothers for children to understand the real importance of this behavior. A video of a child teacher in English, showing how dirt dissolves when you have soap on your finger, has traveled around the world and has been reproduced in several languages, including Spanish.

The experiment is simple. You need a dish with virus and soap residue, pepper is used to make it clearer. And the explanation begins: Mario, do you see how many viruses are on this plate? Put your finger in, please? ”A father says to his little one. The child introduces it and the viruses get stuck, they remain immobile. 'Now take it out and pour water on yourself. What's wrong? ”Asks the parent. 'What a virus is left', the child responds carefully.

'Now please put soap on your finger and put it on the virus plate again,' adds the father. After inserting his finger with soap, “the virus specks spread across the plate away from the area where the little one has inserted his finger. 'Ala!' Says the minor in amazement. To which the father bluntly responds: 'That is the importance of washing your hands.'

The video broadcast on Twitter has more than 470,000 reproductions, in its Spanish version. Although it seems that the great diffusion has been produced by WhatsApp. A didactic and illustrative experiment, and above all a visual one, for children to learn the essential thing of washing their hands frequently with soap and water or with alcoholic solutions and which corroborates what the experts have been saying for weeks.

These maintain that the coronavirus is deposited on objects and remains active on them for several hours or days. When we touch them, we carry it in our hands and we catch it or we can transmit it to other people, including our babies or children. For this reason, frequent and thorough handwashing is paramount.

In addition to doing this experiment with our children at home, we can also count up to 20 with the youngest ones, sing to make it look like a game or even put together one like the example that some schools have spread. Named The coronavirus game consists of parents drawing a drawing of their little ones in their hands and, as they wash it during the day, it gradually disappears. If at night, there is no trace, the kids earn one point. The goal is to get 20.

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How to Teach Children about the Importance of Washing their Hands. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 14, 2024, from
“How to Teach Children about the Importance of Washing their Hands.” Edubirdie, 09 Jun. 2022,
How to Teach Children about the Importance of Washing their Hands. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 Jul. 2024].
How to Teach Children about the Importance of Washing their Hands [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 09 [cited 2024 Jul 14]. Available from:

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