Teaching Kids to Defend Against COVID-19 through Handwashing
The importance of hand-washing has become critical in response the current COVID-19 crisis. But for many of the children in Right To Play programs around the world, learning the importance of proper handwashing has been a part of their lives for many years and absolutely essential to their heath and survival.
For 20 years, Right To Play has been at the forefront of equipping children with this knowledge using games to promote handwashing and good health and hygiene. And the kids in our programs know just how important handwashing is to their health and safety and that of their families.
As the global community continues to fight the effects of Covid-19, we’re making these games available for you to play at home, so you can use the power of play to protect and educate your children your families and friends with this potentially life-saving knowledge.
A Special Note: Right To Play encourages anyone playing our games in the midst of Covid-19 to follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) and practice social distancing. This means that we encourage you to play games that involve contact (i.e. tagging other players), ONLY with individuals who share your primary residence.
Before you play, explain the correct way to wash your hands to all participants. Details on how to do so are outlined below.
Ready, set, play… and discover the power of play to build knowledge and skills that could save lives.
To set up the game, divide players into two equal-size teams. One team is “Team Soap”, the other is “Team Virus”. Each team has a safety zone on opposite ends of the playing area – clearly indicate what the ‘safe areas’ are before you start. Once the boundaries are clear, ask the teams to line up across from each other at the centre of the playing area.
Next, explain and demonstrate that:
- This is a tag game.
- When you call out “Soap!,” the Soap team members will chase the Virus to their safety zone.
- When you call out “Virus!,” the Germs team members will chase the Soap to their safety zone.
- A player who is tagged before reaching the safety zone switches teams.
The game is over when one team has caught all of the other team’s players. Be sure that there is enough space between the children and behind them so that they will not injure themselves when they run.
Or, to play other variations you can: 1) Increase the length of each play area, or 2) Have the children hop, skip or jump instead of run when you call out “Soap!” or “Virus!”
- What does the song tell us will happen if we don’t wash our hands?
- Does anyone know some of the kinds of sicknesses you can get from not washing your hands?
- Can anyone show me how they wash their hands with the soap?
- What do you usually do to know if you have done a good job of washing your hands?
- When are the times when you usually wash your hands?
- What do you think we can do to help us remember to always wash our hands?
- When should we wash our hands from now on?
Give two bars of soap to each team. The two children who are left with the soap must then race to see who can get back to his or her spot first.
According to the World Health Organization, these are the steps you should follow to wash your hands:
- Wet your hands with clean water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
- Rub hands together to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
- Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
- Rinse hands well under running water.
- Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.