Candy Floss' Keeping Healthy Advice
Candy Floss, our very own health and safety superhero, is ready to help children do all they can do to stay healthy at home. Candy Floss focuses on teaching children about safety, germs and illness
prevention while also supporting families as they implement healthy routines and practices at home.
Please be aware that suggested activities and materials are intended for various age groups and may not be suitable for all children. If trying out these activities at home please select only those activities that you feel may work best for your children. Do not allow children to ingest materials and clean up thoroughly after the activities are completed.
Learning About Germs & Illness
With the recent news of spreading illnesses like flu and Coronavirus, it is more important than ever to continue to implement our strong health and safety practices with every child, every day. As children are learning to take care of themselves, we know that families too can benefit from continued focus on the importance of washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, etc. Candy Floss is here to help ensure a focus on health and safety not only as part of our curriculum in nursery, but to support families in these efforts at home as well. We consider personal wellbeing an important learning opportunity.
These Candy Floss suggested activities focus on how to prevent the spread of any germs that can make us poorly. The provided experiences and suggestions will help children explore and answer the following questions:
- What are germs?
- How do germs move?
- How can we stop germs from making us ill?
- What other ways do our bodies help us stay healthy?
Activity 1 - Germs on the move
You Will Need:
- Washable, non-toxic finger paint
- Explain to your child that germs use our eyes, noses, mouths, and hands to move from person to person.
- Ask your child to identify these different body parts by pointing to their own bodies. Make it a game to play together in the car, or whilst queuing, etc.
- To help your child visualise the movement of germs, coat his or her previously washed hands with a very thin layer of paint. Then encourage your child to interact with you or their siblings in some way – like handing a ball from person to person, or selecting items on a tray.
- Once finished, ask everyone to check their hands or surfaces for the pretend germs. How have the germs spread?
- Remind your child that this is why we do things like washing our hands, coughing into elbows, and using tissues.
Activity 2 - Soap Saves the Day (suitable for 3 years and over)
You Will Need:
- Flaked herbs/spices such as parsley, pepper or cinnamon
- Hand soap
- Plates or bowls
- Fill bowl or plate with water and have your child sprinkle the herbs/spices on the surface of the water.
- Tell your child to imagine the herbs/spices are like the germs on their hands.
- Get them to dip their finger in and see how the ‘germs’ stick to their skin.
- They can then dip their finger into the soap and touch the surface of their water.
What happened to our pretend germs? Why do you think the germs moved away? Explain that soap does the same thing to real germs when we wash our hands.
Activity 3 - Steps of Hand Washing
You Will Need:
- Two hand washing posters, one cut into four pieces (optional)
- While washing hands at home, ask your child if they can tell you what they do to wash their hands at nursery. Talk about each step and ask, “What comes first? Then what? And what is next? What is the last step?” Select a song together to sing each time they wash their hands to make sure it is long enough.
- Have you seen the Boogie Mites Hand Washing Song on You Tube?
- Print one “How to wash your hands poster for display and a second to cut up into four strips. Mix up the pieces and challenge your child to put the pieces back together in the right order.
Experiences to Weave In At Home
- Remind your child to wash hands at appropriate times throughout the day, such as arrival at nursery or at home, before meals, and the other times noted at the bottom of the page. Use these opportunities to tell your child how washing our hands helps us get rid of unhealthy germs. Have you seen the ‘When to wash your hands poster’?
- Physical activity is important for wellbeing and with limitations on being in public spaces during this time, it is important you ensure your child has time for full body activity. When possible, take your child outside for few minutes, even if it is a bit chilly. When time outdoors is not an option, get moving inside by encouraging your child to create their dance or by doing physical exercisestogether.
- Eating healthy, exercising our bodies, and getting plenty of rest help keep our bodies from getting poorly. Point out and encourage these healthy practices to your child when you see them.
- Make sure hand washing is accessible so your child can reach taps easily and making sure soap bottles never run empty. Post a stepby-step guide with photos. Use the “How to Wash Your Hands sign” that we use in our nurseries or create your own.
- Put facial tissues down low in each room so your child can easily reach them to blow their nose or cover a sneeze. Child-safe mirrors can also help your child clean his or her face independently.
- Encourage your child to help with keeping their belongings clean by washing baby dolls and other toys. Fun and clean at the same time!
- Children learn through imaginary play. Help them set up a doctor’s office or a school for dolls or other toys so they can role-play caring for others and staying healthy.
Remember children should wash hands...
- Upon arrival to a new location or coming in from outdoors.
- Before and after handling food for a cooking activity or serving/eating food during meals.
- Before and after playing in sensory tables or going swimming.
- Before and after taking medication.
- After toileting or nappy change.
- After wiping nose or coughing.
- After cleaning or handling any rubbish.
- After handling animals or their equipment.
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