6 Fun-tastic Ways to Keep Kids Sweet, Safe and Squeaky Clean
Summer is here and we are all gearing up for a great season of outdoor fun! If your kids are anything like our Oddbods’ Bubbles, Pogo or Fuse, they’re going to be enjoying all kinds of messy mischief as they explore the world around them.
We love endless playtime during the long sunny days, but how do you make sure your kids are safe and clean without cramping their style?
The good news is that children between the ages of 2 and 7 are at the preoperational stage of child development – a period where they soak up every little bit of information they see and hear. So it’s a perfect age to instil healthy habits as kids watch, listen and mimic grown-ups’ actions.
Here are 6 creative ways to encourage happy hygiene habits the Oddbods way. Let’s kickstart this article with a friendly reminder from Zee that you can download from the Oddbods website and paste in your bathroom!
1. Wash and Learn with a Favourite TV Cartoon Character
After a morning spent rolling in the grass or digging up the sandpit at the local park, it’s time to head home for a quick wash before lunch. But the bathroom’s boring! So how do you make the experience more fun for a child who just wants to keep playing?
Spend a few minutes together watching an Oddbods character showing how it’s done. This episode sees Jeff – something of an obsessive when bathing – embark on an emergency clean up.
2. Who’s Game For The Cleaning Challenge?
Best of all, children love getting rewards. Heck, even grown-ups do!
So whether it’s an extra story read at bedtime or a squirt of mum’s special bubble bath, offering your child a small reward in exchange for a successful challenge can be a helpful motivator. Even for lazybones characters, like Zee!
Create a simple “hygiene checklist” for post-outdoor activities – your child can help with colouring it to make it more fun. The checklist should include using soap to wash hands and to wash their face, too. Challenge your child to tick the boxes once they’re done!
Incentivise the challenge with a little reward at the end of each week. In fact, all that good work should earn your child an #ODDSTAR title!
Another option? Fill a plastic bowl with mild soapy water and ask your little one to sponge down all their toys. Can they make them look shiny and new again?
Turn it into a competition if you have two or more children – the one with the dirtiest cloth at the end wins the challenge!
Check out this video for more inspiration!
3. Let’s Pack! Get Set For A Summer-Safe Adventure
As with grown-ups, kids love gifts! To prep your little one for summer, treat them to a snazzy new backpack – perhaps a backpack of their favourite cartoon characters!
Encourage your child to pack a set of hygiene essentials – that way, they’ll become more engaged with clean and healthy habits. Line up items on the floor at home and ask your child to select what should go in their “summer-safe adventure” backpack, and why.
Here are some of the must-haves in their backpack for a safe day out:
- Water bottle
- Child-friendly hand sanitiser
- Wet wipes
- Anti-bacterial cream or spray
4. Bathroom Beats – Try A Musical Hand-Wash
If Fuse is washing his hands, so should you! Staying clean and healthy is a good habit to adopt.
Getting your children to wash their hands can sometimes be an absolute challenge. But music might help! According to a recent study in the US, music is a good stimulant in accelerating brain development in children.
Play a song or two to get them to do the activity while the music is playing in the background. Create some pauses in between for some excitement. We promise you fun and waves of laughter!
5. Turn Sunscreen into Fun-screen!
Wearing a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) sunscreen outdoors is a summer essential. But it can be a bit of a chore applying it to a wriggly, giggly little one – just like Pogo.
To make the process a little more fun, suggest “Let’s paint Newt or Slick on your tummy!”. Use a small squirt of sunscreen to draw a funny face or spell out your child’s favourite Oddbods character – they’ll need to sit still if they want it to look good!
While your child is admiring your finger-drawn design, you can gently apply sunscreen to their face and the rest of their body.
6. Get Bubbly with A Soap and Pepper Experiment
This is a brilliantly simple way to demonstrate the power of soap in getting rid of dirt and germs. Your child can see instantly how soap repels pepper “dirt” in water – just like magic!
Here’s what you need:
- 2 Shallow Bowls
- Black Pepper Powder
- Dishwashing Liquid
How to conduct the experiment:
Fill one bowl with a few squeezes of dishwashing liquid. In the second bowl, add water and sprinkle pepper across the surface in a thin layer.
Explain to your child that the pepper represents germs and dirt. Next, ask your child to dip a clean finger into the first bowl, before placing the same finger into the second bowl filled with pepper and water.
Wow! See the pepper move away from their soapy finger. And that’s why we use soap to wash our hands and bodies!
Watch this video to get inspired!
If it drops, then don’t think about it again. Take it away to the bin and sanitise your hands!
7. Simon Says… Scrub-a-Dub-Dub!
Children love mimicking grown-up actions. Use this time to play a game of “Simon says!” (or “Mummy Says!” – you get the drift) and play clean up. It’s a win-win situation.
Pogo from Oddbods loves this especially since he’s someone who thinks everything’s a game!
Some ideas to get you started:
- Mummy says… “Hop to the bathroom and wash your feet!”
- Simon says…”Wash your hands!”
- Mummy says…”Brush your teeth and gargle!”
If you have other tips, comment below and let us know. Happy Summer!