Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Global Handwashing Day!

Friday, October 15 is Global Handwashing Day.  This campaign is geared toward motivating people around the world to wash their hands using not only water, but soap as well.  One of the many things that Peace Corps Volunteers do during their 27 months of service is give "charlas" or chats on a wide variety of topics.  There really aren't any forbidden topics for charlas, though some partnering agencies may have you edit content to be age or culturally appropriate.  We took advantage of this global event and prepared a handwashing charla to give to our beloved preschool and kindergarten students today.

If any of you can remember your preschool or kindergarten days, the first thing that probably comes to mind is nap time.  In order for anything to sink in, it has to be fun.  That being said, you may be wondering how on earth you make something like handwashing fun (without making a mess).  We began our charla with a couple of short videos, because who doesn't love a good cartoon with soap, hands, and water?  We talked about what kids need in order to wash their hands, when they should wash their hands, why they should wash their hands, and how they should wash their hands. 

After the videos, things started getting pretty boring - you can only rub your hands together so many times before you start thinking that you're going crazy.  So, we decided to play a game of tag with the kids.  This wasn't your everyday game of tag though.  This was "Soap and Water Tag."  We played the roles of soap and water and worked together to clear a hand (the floor) of germs and bacteria (the students) living on it.  We essentially formed a "soap bubble" around groups of kids and shuttled them to the space that was designated as a clean hand.  After several minutes of running and screaming, we successfully cleaned the hand of all of its germs.

Having learned why, when, and how to wash their hands and acting out the process, it was time to get dirty so that we could practice washing hands.  The getting dirty party was fun.  Each child was able to put their handprint on a poster for their classroom that has the things needed to wash your hands, when to wash your hands, and how to wash your hands.  We talked about these posters and every student agreed that it was a "contract" stating that they would use soap and water and wash their hands after using the restroom, after playing with their pets or other animals, and before eating.  We kept things somewhat tidy by painting their hands for them before they made their mark (this is also a good paint saving technique!)  The end result was quite beautiful, and both the preschool and kindergarten classrooms now have lovely posters to remind them of how to wash their hands.

All of the kids loved this activity and had a great time pointing out their handprints to us after returning from washing their hands.  We really enjoyed the day and are glad that we have teachers in our school who are more than happy to take us up on our offers to do crazy educational activities.   

For more fun photos click here.
This is one of the videos that we showed the kids - enjoy!

No comments: