Hand Washing

Hand washing is a skill that can be started at a young age. Kids as early as 2 and 3 start hand washing at preschool/daycare. It is good to begin early and teach thoroughness from the beginning.





Hand washing picture schedule (optional)


Be sure to supervise your child as they learn to wash their hands. Ensure they are turning on both the hot and cold at the same time. If you prefer just teach to turn on the cold water and introduce the other later.


Hand washing can be taught one step at a time or all at once and helping the steps they cannot do. There is no right or wrong way to do it, but be consistent. If your child learns quickly teach all at once and help only on the steps they need it.

If they need a lot of help do the step by step method. The child should learn to do one step before learning the next.  Below are the basic steps to the routine. It is best to teach one step at a time learning the last step first. This means you do hand over hand prompting for all the steps except the last step. Your child is then expected to complete the last step independently. Once they are able to do this they are then expected to complete the last 2 steps independently and so on. You can vary the steps for hand washing as you see fit, but for an idea of all the steps needed to independently learn hand washing see below. Again be consistent!

  1. Go to sink
  2. Turn on water (either just cold or cold and hot at the same time)
  3. Rinse hands (count to 5 or sing a short song-Row Row)
  4. Get 1 pump of soap
  5. Rub palms
  6. Rub top of left hand
  7. Rub top of right hand
  8. Rinse hands (count to 5 or sing a short song-Row Row)
  9. Turn of water
  10. Get towel
  11. Dry palm left hand
  12. Dry top left hand
  13. Dry palm right hand
  14. Dry top right hand
  15. Hang up towel (or put on counter)

September 5, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Daily Living Skills Activities No comments yet

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