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Encouraging Personal Hygiene Practices in Kids Through Toys

Updated on June 22, 2012
Taking a bath
Taking a bath | Source

Personal hygiene practices are routines that maintain healthiness by keeping the body clean and disease free. They prevent us from being sick and help control the spread of diseases. They also help us become more socially acceptable in offices, schools and the community in general.

Some common examples of personal hygiene practices include hand washing, taking a bath, brushing teeth regularly and visiting a doctor or dentist. Teaching kids about proper hygiene is important so that they can keep themselves clean even when no one is around. Having a good set of personal hygiene practices also teaches them to be responsible about their body.

Toys are helpful tools in teaching kids about personal hygiene because children have fun playing with them. Learning about good hygiene practices while playing makes proper hygiene enjoyable activities and not instructions that they have to comply with. They then do it more naturally which makes it easier for these practices to become habits.

The rubber duck is one of the most common bath toys
The rubber duck is one of the most common bath toys | Source

Bath Toys

Bath toys make taking a bath fun for kids. They entertain kids while you soap them clean. But don’t keep quiet and rush things when giving them a bath. Tell them stories and play with the toys as well. It is a great time to teach them about objects that float on water. Baths are also great moments to talk to them about things that happen at school.

Make bathing an activity that they will look forward to because they enjoy it.

Play Sets

If your child likes role playing, then play sets can come in handy. Bathroom play sets, toothbrush sets and grooming kits make nice choices because these are miniature versions of the things that we really use. While playing, you can explain how to use each toy and what benefits they give to the body. You can also tell them about objects used every morning, after every meal and after playing.

You could reverse roles too!

Dolls and plush toys should always be kept clean
Dolls and plush toys should always be kept clean | Source

Dolls and Plush Toys

Dolls are the toys that teach children to take care of others. As newer interactive dolls come up, educating kids about personal hygiene is becoming easier. There are dolls that come with toothbrushes and toothpastes. There are even dolls that go potty too.

But kids can learn about hygiene with simple dolls and plush toys as well. Mommy can seek the help of her child when washing them so that her child may understand the value of cleanliness. As they both do this, Mommy can also tell her daughter ways of keeping her doll from getting sick.

Action Figures and Cartoon Characters

Remember Adam Sandler’s “Big Daddy”? In the movie, he taught Julian, his adopted five year old kid, about personal hygiene by acting out as Scuba Sam, the father of Julian’s toy Scuba Steve. Scuba Sam told Julian that Scuba Steve has good hygiene and, because Julian look up to Scuba Steve, Julian was taking a bath in the next scene.

Action figures and cartoon characters play major roles in the lives of growing kids. When we were young, we used to copy how our favorite cartoon characters move, talk and think. We used to play in the garden while thinking of ways to save the world because we are the Superfriends. I remember craving for spinach because of Popeye as well.

Oral hygiene by brushing the teeth
Oral hygiene by brushing the teeth | Source

Kiddie Pools

Water is present in most personal hygiene practices that is why it is good for kids to like water as well. Swimming in kiddie pools with other kids tells them that other kids like it too. It also gives kids time to interact and play with one another while parents have bonding moments as well. To make kiddie pools more enjoyable, make bath and water toys accessible to kids. Prepare some fun water games too!

Check on the water once in a while because the water turns brown much faster when there are many kids inside the pool.

Jigsaw Puzzles

Maybe you and your kid like to solve puzzles, why not give jigsaw puzzles a try? Jigsaw puzzles are nice to play with at night before going to sleep. Personally, I find it as a quiet game that presents lots of opportunities to have a worthy conversation. There are jigsaw puzzles that feature kids brushing their teeth or taking a bath. You can educate your kid about hygiene this time by explaining how to keep a body part clean as a picture of that part shows up.

Jigsaw puzzles are great to play with when there are cookies around.

Children must learn to value proper personal hygiene at an early age. These practices also make it easier for kids to keep away from things that they should avoid. When learned naturally, these practices become habits that they carry in schools, at parties or wherever they go.


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