How Do Toddlers Learn to Wash Their Hands?

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Toddlers can learn to wash their hands by being introduced to the habit at a young age, and providing a special soap and adding a fun activity to hand washing can make it easier to learn. Make washing hands a fun activity for toddlers with advice from a clinical psychologist in this free video on parenting.

Part of the Video Series: Parenting Basics
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Video Transcript

Hello I'm Dr. Deborah Wheeler. I'm the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Argosy University. I'm also a Clinical Psychologist and today's topic, how to get your toddler to wash their hands. Of course you want your child to have good hygiene and to practice and know how to wash their hands correctly. One of the first things you can do is to make sure it is a fun activity. Wash the child's hands with them, put your hands over theirs and wash their hands with them, make sure that they have a few minutes to play in the water. All toddlers love water play. Make sure that they have a few minutes just to play. Maybe you want to buy them some special soap or bubbles or bath tub crayons. That is something they can use while they are washing their hands as well. Finally make sure they wash their hands adequately. They might take time to sing a song. If you sing Happy Birthday a couple of times while you are washing your hands that makes sure that the child is washing their hands an adequate amount of time to really get the germs off. Make sure that you spend some time with the child showing them how to wash their hands and let them have some fun with it as well. If you would like more information on this topic or any others that we can help you with on parenting please contact us at


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