• stephanie1939

Global Handwashing Day: Get the most (language) out of washing your hands

That's right - October 15th is Global Handwashing Day! Who knew there was a worldwide day for washing your hands! During these unprecedented times and the flu season coming up, it’s even more important to remember to wash our hands often to keep those germs away and prevent from spreading germs to others. But did you know, it’s not as quick as just rinsing our hands for 5 seconds? The CDC recommends that we scrub our hands for at least 20 seconds to get all those germs off! Feel long? Here are some songs using familiar tunes to make hand washing more fun while supporting your kiddos language development!


Row, Row, Row Your Boat

Wash, wash, wash your hands

Soap will make them clean

Scrub them here

Scrub them there

And scrub them in between


Wash, wash, wash your hands

Soap will make them clean

Rub until the soap falls off

Now your hands are clean




Happy Birthday (repeat 2 times)

Wash hands well each day

To keep germs away

Scrub with soap and water

And be on your way




This is the Way (repeat 2 times)

This is the way we wash our hands

Wash our hands

Wash our hands

This is the way we wash our hands

** Before we go to eat

** Change the last line for other activities:

After we use the potty, After we play outside




If You’re Happy And You Know It (repeat 2 times)

If you’re happy and you know it, wash your hands!

If you’re happy and you know it, wash your hands!

If you’re happy and you know it

Scrub your hands

Rub your hands

If you’re happy and you know it, wash your hands!



Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (repeat 2 times)

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Look how clean my two hands are

Soap and water, wash and scrub

Get those germs off rub-a-dub

Twinkle, twinkle little star

Look how clean my two hands are



What does singing a song while hand washing do?

  • Create a Verbal Routine: Creating and using the same words over and over again, whether it be in books or songs, helps build and support language development. This process is a part of creating a “verbal routine.” Singing repetitive songs and making them a part of everyday routines make it predictable for kiddos, which means kiddos learn to EXPECT and PREDICT not only the steps in the routine, but also the WORDS in the song!

  • Build Vocabulary: By singing a song with words relevant to the activity, not only will it be fun to dance and sing along, it also simultaneously creates a language rich environment with words that your kiddo is learning along with their actions.

  • Encourage Filling In: Once you’ve repeated it enough times and you’ve established this routine, every once in a while pause (at least 3 seconds) during the song and wait to see if your kiddo will fill in the words.

  • Make it Fun!: Singing makes everything fun! The more fun your kiddo is having while doing something as ordinary as washing their hands, the more exciting and engaging it can be while also teaching them language.

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive a FREE 'Steps to Wash Your Hands' visual. Print it, go through the steps, put it on the wall near the sink, and begin using it to teach your kiddos how to properly wash their hands while learning language along the way!



Happy Global Handwashing Day!


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