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Health and Hygiene Activities for Kids

Updated on March 20, 2013

Encouraging the Awareness of Healthy Routines!

Health is a huge topic, but for this particular hub I want to share some of my thoughts, and few neat activities plans to use while teaching your children about their health. In coming from a family that suffered the unfortunate setbacks of poverty I wasn't driven to learn and form the habits of healthy routines. Over the years it took a huge toll on me as I entered in adulthood. I got sick a lot from having a poor immune system, and ended up going to the dentist way to many times for fillings, and abscesses. Looking back on it all I wish my parents had done the thing of making sure I brushed my teeth everyday, and washing my hands regularly. Even taking a shower at least once a day to ensure that I developed the habits of these healthy routines. My family was too preoccupied with simply making sure we had food in our bellies, and clothes on our backs. Which is hard to do when your family seems to run into one event of bad luck after another. In almost every classroom I've been to so far I've noticed that children are often forgetting to follow healthy routines, and in some cases it's not even enforced. Children with disabilities, and behavioral problems are the one's I notice this the most with. Teacher's and even parents will simply not remind the children to wash their hands or brush their teeth out of the simple fact that the child already has so much to deal with. Healthy routines are a big factor in ensuring a child has a healthy future, and with plenty of encouragement a child will naturally come to understand that their health is the most important thing in their life. Washing your hands before every meal, after leaving the washroom, and after playing with animals or outdoors might seems like a lot of time. This simple routine on average actually takes about 5 minutes out of your day, and that's not much. Brushing your teeth after every meal only takes about another 5-10 minutes out of your day. Taking a shower once a day is merely another 15 minutes. So in all reality to keep yourself healthy you only need to spend about 30 minutes everyday to ensure your following healthy routines. Without the encouragement children might not even realize how important these routines are, and there are so many ways we can educate them. Learning about our health can be a lot of fun. From doing art activities to pretend play, and it not only encourages them to have a healthy future, but also builds on a child's self-image, and confidence.

Have Fun with Healthy Education!

Make personalized soap bars! Have children wet down a bar of soap, and rub some paper pictures onto the front till it's smooth. Make sure the paper is completely soaked in soap, and then dry with a hair dryer. Children will be more likely to use it!

Show how germs spread by talking about germs and hand washing. Then place some paint on your hand and invite a child to shake your hand. Have them shake another persons hand, and again with someone else. This gives a great visual on how germs

Health Activity Ideas!

Soap Vs. No Soap

This activity will show children how soap helps to wash away germs, and other things that might be on our hands, in our hair, or on our body. It's a kind of messy, and fun way to learn hands on.

Materials: Oil, Soap, Water Basin.

Procedure: Invite the children to talk about washing with soap, and ask them if they know why we use soap. Then have the children put some oil on their hands, and try to wash it off in the basin. Does it come off? Does it leave a residue? What happens when we try to wash our hands without any soap? After everyone has had a chance to explore that idea incite them to put some soap on their hands, and try to wash the oil off using the soap. What happens? Does the oil finally come off? Is there anything residue left on the hands after we use the soap? How does soap help? Children will realize by doing this activity that soap is very useful in getting those hard to clean things off our bodies, and encourages them more to use soap when they go to wash their hands.

Tooth Experiment

this activity will show children visually how the enamel on our teeth help to protect our teeth, and why we need to brush our teeth to keep them healthy.

Materials: Two apples, a potato peeler, and a clean surface to place them on.

Procedure: Talk about brushing our teeth, and how brushing our teeth wipes away the plaque and tartar on them that eats away at the enamel on our teeth. Invite them to help peel one apple so that the white of the apple is completely exposed. Then place both apples in a spot where they can see. Talk about the apple with the peel still on it represents a tooth with it's enamel undamaged. Then explain how the apple that is exposed represents a tooth that has lost it's enamel. After a few hours, or even by the end of the day ask the children what they observe different about the apples. How has the exposed apple changed? Did it spoil? Did it's color change? How is this similar to our teeth? What has happened to the apple that still has it's peel? Has anything changed? Has it spoiled or changed color? Talk about how the apple with the peel on it is still protected from the germs around it, and how the peel helped to protect it like the enamel on our teeth help to protect them. Talk about how the apple that is exposed has changed color, because of the germs around it being able to enter into it, and how without the enamel on our teeth this same thing can happen to our teeth. This will give children a quick visual on what can happen to our teeth if we don't brush them to protect the enamel.

How do you encourage healthy routines with your children?

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    • MarieAlana1 profile image

      Marie Alana 4 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks for sharing these great ideas! One thing that I use with my children is "Spider Hands" and "Back of Hands." While teaching "Spider Hands" I show the children that our hands can be put together like spiders. Therefore, when I say spider hands and back of hands, the children have fun washing in between the fingers as well as the back of the hands. I have also used laminated teeth and expo markers and then washed them off to teach about teeth. I like your idea of an apple and personalized soap bars.

    • PaoloJpm profile image

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      Very useful! its very important to know the importance of personal hygiene through this hub.

    • JPPhilips profile image

      JPPhilips 5 years ago from SC Piedmont Area

      Thanks for sharing. Nice Hub.