5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene

I always figured that once I got my kids to use the bathroom independently that my job would get easier. And for my first two, I was pretty much right. Of course, it helped that Trevor went to daycare and had the most amazing teacher {love you, Miss Melissa!} who walked him through the tot-sized bathroom and taught him how to use toilet paper and wash his hands thoroughly. I just had to reinforce her preschoolers personal hygiene routines at home.

Since I wasn’t able to bring Miss Melissa home and have her train all of my kids, we’ve had to come up with our own strategies for teaching preschoolers personal hygiene.

 

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com #shop #cottonelleroutine #cbias

 

Be Patient

This has to be the most difficult part of all this for me. Like most moms, I have a lot going on. Four kids with a nursing baby, homeschooling, working from home – I just want the kids to go to the bathroom and wash their hands well without any help from me. And, frankly…sometimes I just can’t get to the bathroom quick enough to help wipe a bottom and make sure hands are washed thoroughly if I’m elbow-deep in dishwater or changing a diaper.

But I know that when I rush things, I get crabby and the kids melt down. So I need to be patient and teach patience. I remind Logan {who has the tendency to scream from the potty when she’s done} that I will get there to help her as soon as I am able, and if she screams it’ll take me longer because I’ll have to calm a startled baby. And then I take a few deep breaths, and go show her {again} how to wipe herself and wash her hands.

Have the Right Supplies Stocked

It’s really hard to teach preschoolers personal hygiene when you need to run down to the basement or the hall closet to get toilet paper, hand soap or towels every time they need to use the bathroom. I was given the chance to take the kids to Target recently to stock up on some toilet paper and flushable wet wipes to start a #cottonelleroutine of our own. It was perfect because I already use and love Cottonelle toilet paper and looked forward to trying the flushable wipes in the free dispenser that is currently being offered when you buy two 18-roll packs.

 

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com #shop #cottonelleroutine #cbias

 

The wet wipes dispenser is sleek and unobtrusive in our bathroom, and has the added benefit of looking more “grown up” than the baby wipes containers we usually use. Logan loves her “big kid wipes.”

Make it Fun

When I found out about the great deal on Cottonelle toilet paper and the free wipes dispenser at Target, I loaded the kids in the car and headed out telling Logan that we were on the search for “big kid wipes” to help her stay clean in the bathroom. I told the big kids that this was called personal hygiene and that they could help model good, healthy behavior for their little sister. {Working in a little homeschool never hurts, right?}

 

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com #shop #cottonelleroutine #cbias

 

It’s always a bit chaotic to shop with four kids, but we had a lot of fun since we all adore Target. You can see what we did, and the craziness we brought to the store, by checking out our Google+ album.

After we shopped, we headed for some “big girl” frozen yogurt and then on to begin our new clean routine at home. Molly and I created this fun sign to hang in the bathroom to help remind everyone what they need to do when they use the potty. You can click on the picture and download your own copy to use at home.

 

Bathroom Reminder

 

Molly and I then taught Logan to sing the ABC song nice and slowly when she washes her hands to make sure she is scrubbing long enough. She rub-rub-rubs her hands together, then squish-squish-squishes the soap bubbles between her fingers, and rub-rub-rubs on the backs of each hand while she sings. I really love hearing her giggles when she washes up now.

Offer Incentives

To make her want to wipe and wash herself {because, really, who wouldn’t want to pass that job along to someone else?}, I told her that for every day she takes care of her own personal clean routine, she can put a bean in a little jar she has. Once the jar is full, we’ll take a trip to the One Spot at Target together. It’s a cheap toy and date with Mom all rolled into one – and all she needs to get motivated.

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com #shop #cottonelleroutine #cbias

Praise, Praise, Praise…and Praise Some More

I am so guilty of forgetting to praise my kids when they do great things – especially when those things are ordinary expectations. But, like most kids, Logan wants to be a big girl more than anything else. So, when I take the time to say, “You are such a big girl! You wiped yourself and washed your hands. I’m so proud of you!” and give her a high five, she is extremely likely to repeat that behavior the next time she goes to the bathroom.

 

5 Tips for Teaching Preschoolers Personal Hygiene via www.RaisingLifelongLearners.com #shop #cottonelleroutine #cbias

 

I’m not over the hump yet. Logan is still spotty in her cleanliness, and just this morning I mopped up sudsy water that had been squirted all over the mirror. She’s still a work in progress. And once she gets it down…it’ll be Isaac’s turn to make messes learn to take care of himself in the bathroom.

But, at least we’re on the road toward successfully teaching our preschoolers personal hygiene.

What are some of your fabulous tips and tricks to help teach your little ones hygiene?

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