Using Hand Washing Songs to Encourage Children in Child Care to Wash Hands Thoroughly

Child Care October 02, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Girl washing hands

Hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of germs in child care. When washing hands, it is important to scrub for a full 20 seconds. Many children forget to wash their hands for this long. Teaching children in a child care setting to sing a "hand washing song" while they wash is a good way to help them measure if they have been scrubbing long enough. 

The following are a few examples of hand washing songs. Choose a song that you enjoy, teach it to the children, and practice singing it while they wash their hands. The songs listed below should take approximately 20 seconds to sing through twice.

Wash, Wash, Wash Your Hands

(Sing to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat")

Wash, wash, wash your hands,

Play our handy game.

Rub and scrub and scrub and rub

Germs go down the drain



Good and Clean

(Sing to the tune of "Happy Birthday")

Wash my hands so good and clean

Wash my fingers and in between

Watch the germs all go away

Now they're clean, I'll go and play



This Is the Way We Wash Our Hands

(Sing to the tune of "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush")

This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands,

This is the way we wash our hands, every single day.

This is the way we scrub our fingers, scrub our fingers, scrub our fingers,

This is the way we scrub our fingers, every single day.

This is the way we rinse our hands, rinse our hands, rinse our hands,

This is the way we rinse our hands, rinse those germs away!


Writing Your Own Hand Washing Song

Looking for more creative ways to encourage children in your child care program to wash their hands? Try writing your own hand washing song. Choose a well-known children's song, and write new words that teach children how to wash their hands. Preschoolers and school-age children may enjoy making up their own hand washing songs. Write down the words they come up with, and encourage them to decorate the page. Laminate the words and hang them near the hand washing sink as a reminder. Children will enjoy singing the songs they make up and may even wash their hands longer as a result.

For More Information

To learn more about the ins and outs of hand washing in the child care setting, check out the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles:

Photo by Diane Bales / CC BY

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.