Handwashing activities for under 5s

Families, Teaching, Early Years
Children from Tombohuaun in Sierra Leone washing their hands in a bowl of clean water.
Image: WaterAid/Nana Kofi Acquah


This resource pack includes:

  • Craft activity: Hugo the stick puppet
  • Handwashing reward chart
  • Handwashing certificate

Whether it's after going to the toilet or before eating, washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of disease. Even so, it can sometimes be difficult to get very young children to wash their hands and remember to turn the tap off when they finish, so as not to waste water.

This step by step activity is designed for you to do with your child using craft, play and simple questions (with the help of Hugo the stick puppet) to help them learn why, when and how to wash their hands.

Once you've done the activity, print out and stick up our handwashing chart. A reward chart can really help encourage younger children to keep washing their hands regularly and thoroughly.

Keep the handwashing fun going too! Your child can become a handwashing expert by playing our fun handwashing game Germ Zapper.