Care of Person

Washing Hands

Material Description:

A small, light-weight china, ceramic or steel basin and corresponding jug and bucket, a soap and soap dish and another soap-dish with nail brush, hand lotion, fresh hand towel, drying cloth and apron


  • This presentation is given standing at a table
  • Invite the child to the table
  • Put on the aprons, roll up long sleeves and remove jewellery
  • Bring the material an ask her to unroll the oil cloth
  • Introduce the material, naming it, place the basin in front of you and the hand towel, drying cloth and jug from left to right.
  • Put the bucket under the table, or top left
  • Ask her to fill the jug three-quarters full
  • Pour some of the water from the jug into the basin
  • Wipe the jug from the bottom to the top with the drying cloth, replace it
  • Dip your hands into the basin, front and back
  • Lift the hands up over the basin and wait for the last drip to fall
  • Apply the soap rubbing it, palms together and replace soap
  • Rub hands front and back, between and around fingers
  • Dip the hands in the water for a while,rinse one hand and then the other
  • Wipe the soap scum from the bowl with two fingers
  • Bring the bucket towards you with both hands and then, using both hands, carefully empty the basin into the bucket, replace the bucket
  • Pour fresh water into the basin
  • Rinse both hands, on at a time
  • Take out hands waiting for last drip
  • Rub the fingers together to check if they are slippery – say ‘Listen’ and a squeak will sound if soap remains
  • Dry the hands completely with opened hand towel placed on the right hand to dry left hand and wrist and then repeated by left hand


  • After the child has completed the activity
  • Check the oil cloth for any water flicked or spilt
  • Return the drying cloth to it’s place
  • Swab the fingers of the right hand around the waterline in the basin, while holding it steady with the left hand to show the child the dirt collected
  • Pour unused water from the basin, then the jug, into the bucket
  • Take the bucket and pour the waste water away, rinse the bucket
  • Take the drying cloth and wipe the inside of the jug, basin, bucket (while drying keep each item placed on the oil cloth, inverting them to dry the insides, place the drying cloth on the oil cloth while turning the vessels) dry the soap-dish.
  • Invite the child to inspect each item, to see if it and its surrounding area are dry
  • Put the drying cloth to be washed and replace it
  • Pack each material away to where it is displayed



Points of Interest:

Comment on how the water becomes dirty

Wait for the last drop when removing hands from basin





  • Co-ordination of Movement
  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Social Adaptation



Age at Presentation:

Three years




  • Later show the child how to clean the nails with a brush and apply hand lotion
  • The child should already know the elementary movement for washing her hands a the sink
  • Let the child keep her own hand towel, hairbrush and other grooming items in a locker or bag to develop her awareness of personal appearance and hygiene continuously, also use the four mirrors to reinforce this
  • The child must wash her hands before eating and after polishing shoes and Care of the Environment activities










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