Learning by play
Encouraging hand washing
Keeping children healthy is a fundamental goal of any childcare programme. While teaching good washroom habits can be tricky, washing hands carefully and thoroughly can help children reduce the risk of circulating germs and illnesses.
Encouraging hand washing has been a part of educating children for some years, but how successful is this task of getting the little ones to wash their hands properly? Studies show that only 5% of people wash their hands correctly. Even worse is that 33% didn’t use soap, and 10% didn’t wash their hands. If these are adult statistics, then it is increasingly important for children to form good habits from an early age.
There are many ways to encourage good personal hygiene in children, including creating a pleasant and playful environment. Therefore learning by play is an essential factor in today’s educational washrooms. Research indicates that, as children become more independent, they will start to use washroom facilities such as taps as a source of endless fun and learning.
Having a cheerful and inviting washroom design has become increasingly important; products such as taps with faces painted on them and washtroughs that incorporate different sections and heights can encourage children to interact with the space more relaxedly. This is all to create that playful sensory experience for the children when visiting the toilet. A clear example of fun washroom products being put to good use is shown in the illustrated room with the KWC DVS Washino Split Level Trough.
The playful design and the pleasant warm surface of the Miranit troughs tempt children to wash their hands. The wave-shaped basins are also practical for children of different ages, with an indent designed to reduce the distance to the taps, increasing accessibility. You can learn more about KWC DVS Washino play troughs here.
It is recommended to leave time for the children to play with the water and wash their hands when they use the bathroom. Incorporating small toys and fun surroundings may keep the little ones occupied for longer and encourage good hygiene. Other methods, such as games and interaction, can also be successful; according to Bruno (2018), Handwashing Games for Kids.
Encouraging hand drying
After the little ones have washed their hands, it is also essential to encourage them to dry their hands correctly. Hand dryers can often be very loud and daunting for young children. Therefore it is necessary to consider installing a quieter, child-friendly hand dryer. Many designs and ranges on the market will encourage hand drying, such as ‘puff the magic dryer’ by Intelligent Hand Dryers. Children may not dry their hands properly without this level of fun and playfulness, so it is vital to consider a fast, fun, child-friendly design.
A fun design and introducing playful elements to the washroom is the most effective way to encourage the next generation to wash and dry their hands properly.
If you are looking for more inspiration when designing your next school washroom or just looking to upgrade some products, get in touch. We can provide a wide range of products and advice on entirely bespoke designs to suit whoever the user may be.
Please get in touch on 01246 458900 or book an appointment with one of our Specification Sales Managers.
Duffy, B. (2006). Supporting creativity and imagination in the early years. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Bruno, G. (2018). Handwashing Games for Kids. [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: https://www.livestrong.com/article/232535-handwashing-games-for-kids/
Articles.extension.org. (2018). Hand Washing in Child Care - eXtension. [online] Available at: http://articles.extension.org/pages/25852/hand-washing-in-child-care
How children learn through play in Messy Play, (Duffy, 2006) (http://www.keap.org.uk/documents/eyfs_messyplay_bduffy.pdf)