Handwashing for good health: a message to all preschool teachers

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on January 20, 2010

in Quick Tips for Preschool Teachers

By Dawn Ginese, The Singing Nurse

Hand washing for good health, how many interesting and enticing ways can we share, show and encourage each other to “just do it”, and teach our highly observant and ever emerging preschoolers to follow in our footsteps.

Doing what it takes to teach the point!

This hand washing post is dedicated to those feisty energetic preschool teachers, who I happen to believe are some of the most creative bunch of gals on the planet. Most of us are women who work in early childhood because, who else has the patience, and delights in hanging out with a gang of wiggly equally energetic three and four year olds.
My experience working with preschoolers developed while being a mother of three, teaching Sunday school, being a teacher assistant for emotionally disturbed children, and then later, as a nurse, the singing nurse.

The task of hand washing became necessary not only as a mother washing off mud pie and finger paints, but also as a Head Start Nurse. You might be familiar with this program that helps low income families learn all they can about parenting, raising healthy children, leadership and setting goals for themselves. The staff’s job was to discover anything that may hinder the child’s growth in all aspects, be it emotional or health issues, hearing or vision difficulties or the spotting of a potential learning disability.

We worked as a team and were privileged to be part of their developing lives, to give them a “Head Start” before Kindergarten. We worked not only with the children, but with the whole family unit. We take for granted the skills we’ve learned from our parents like, being encouraging, sitting and reading a book with our child, cooking a meal together and gathering as a family to eat it. It was part of the Head Start program to teach and model these family values.

The Rub a Dub Dub Baby!

Oh yes, hand washing, just a slight sidetrack and bit of knowledge about the path I’ve been on. So, how does this all tie together? I am a musician as well as a nurse, so I decided to write some health songs while I was working in early childhood development. Who can vouch for the fact that we all write and sing little songs for every purpose while working with preschool children? The common adventures and sometimes scary situations preschoolers encounter in school and with medical professionals gave me the spark to write songs like; I’m Gonna Brush My Teeth, The Dentist is a Good Guy, Don’t Spread Your Germs Around, The Audiologist, The Tick Song, and Babies Are Beautiful.

One health song in particular is a hand washing song for preschoolers called “Rubba Dub Dub”. The tune is an echo song, it is easy to sing, the hand motions are simple, it’s tested and true and the kids love the lively beat. I was blessed by my daughter Hannah who created an animation of my song as a Christmas gift.

I just completed a lesson plan with activities and discussion points that integrates my hand washing song. The basic health lesson is complete with a germ game and several project options, lyrics with hand motions and more.

“Rubba Dub, Dub”, as well as other health tunes can be downloaded at my website. Check it all out, sign up via my contact page to receive news when my animated dental song and completed lesson plan book is finished.

Thanks to a new friend Deborah Stewart who encouraged me to reach out to her circle of early childhood educators with my educational health songs. I found her and her website, Teach Preschool via twitter.

Cheers to competent, innovative preschool teachers. Lead by example and they will follow!


For Healthy Kids, Dawn Ginese, The Singing Nurse
The Singing Nurse, Dawn Ginese, RN © 2010


Thank you Dawn for sharing your expertise with us!
Do you have a comment for Dawn? We’d love to hear them!
This article is being shared with you by Deborah Stewart of Teach Preschool - Promoting excellence in early childhood education at home and in the preschool classroom!

Check out Deborah's new book and order your copy today!

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