Book IconSee all lessons >

Wash Hands for Health!

Young people will be able to demonstrate proper and effective hand washing techniques.


3-8 Years Old


30 Min

What You Need


Healthy Families Newsletter

English (pdf)

Spanish (pdf)

To find out how this health safety lesson fits Physical Education and Health Education standards click here.

Lesson Overview

This lesson helps young people understand the importance of hand-washing. Youth will learn how to wash their hands and color a worksheet with the  proper hand-washing steps.


Germs are everywhere, but we can take action to reduce them and lower our chances of getting sick! Washing your hands is the easiest way to reduce the risk of spreading germs that cause infections. Everyone can benefit from learning good hand-washing techniques. You should wash your hands after using the bathroom, blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, and before eating.

If you cannot get to a sink, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Hands get more germs on them than other parts of your body.

When you touch your eyes, nose or mouth, the germs can get inside your body and can make you sick. And when you have germs on your hands, you can spread the germs to other people and make them sick too.

Germs on your hands can also get on food you eat and can make you sick. That’s why it’s important to wash your hands before helping with any food preparation and before meals or snacks.

To help stop the spread of germs you should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Put the used tissue in the waste basket and go wash your hands.


We know that germs can make us sick. But where are germs and how do they make us sick? What can we do to stop germs from making us sick? Wash our hands!

Today we’re going to learn why we need to wash our hands and how to wash germs away the right way.

Engage the youth in a discussion about the right steps to good hand-washing. Refer them to the “Simple Steps for Squeaky Clean Hands” handout. Read through steps one through six and show good hand-washing if a sink is available. The youth can color the worksheet as well.

Ask young people, how long should we wash our hands to be sure to get the germs off?

You should wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. And be sure to wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold)… and use soap!

Depending on the age of the youth, you might want to post hand-washing tips near the sink in the bathroom.


Conclude the lesson by handing out the Healthy Families Newsletter in English or Spanish, which also includes these tips, so that families can continue developing healthy hand-washing habits at home.

 Related Health Powered Kids Blog

Practicing good hand-washing techniques will help keep germs away

Back to Top