Making Cleaning And Sanitation Fun For Kids
Get real advice on gamifying the act of handwashing and cleaning for kids with Safeguard
Being a parent isn’t an easy situation during a pandemic. Between teaching the right values, helping out in school, and encouraging hobbies and play, there never seems to be enough time to focus on everything that you want your kids to experience. Throw in social distancing, masks, face shields, and disinfection on top of that, and well, you might be in for a rough time.
But while you may not be able to stretch your schedule as much as you’d like, you can make it a lot more fun. And that’s where gamification comes in.
Gamification means taking the fun elements from games (think scoring points, handing out quests, role-playing characters, and so on) and using them to make ordinary tasks more exciting. This allows you to engage your kids more, even if you’re just asking them to wash their hands and put on their masks. You also get to spend your time with them more meaningfully, and eventually, these small games will help develop habits that could protect them during the pandemic.
Kids tend to respond better to gamification when you’re trying to teach them something, as opposed to just telling them what they need to do. According to the Smithsonian Science Education Center, it raises engagement, helps in cognitive development, and can even help in physical development in some cases.
So is you’re having a difficult time trying to teach your kids about pandemic precautions, we’ve got a few ideas to gamify the experience:
Give them a role to play
It isn’t safe to go out just yet. But from time to time, you might encounter a situation where you need to take your child with you. On those occasions, you’ll have to ask them to gear up with a mask and a face shield. Help them out by giving them a role to play.
If your child likes superheroes, you can decorate their gear with decals of their favorite characters, and tell them they get to be that hero for the day. A fan of space? Tell them you’re suiting up for a spacewalk and boarding the shuttle (this could be anything from a car to a bus or a train). Are ninjas their thing? The mask is easy to explain, and you can tell them they need to “hide” from people by staying two meters away from them.
This helps your child with the experience, and also encourages the habit of wearing safety equipment.
Give them an adventure bag
Fill up a small bag with soap, hand sanitizer, some snacks, and a juice bottle and hand it to your child. This is their adventure bag. It’s a special kind of bag that’s only given to the strongest of heroes and the bravest of princesses.
While walking around the house, you can teach them how to use each one. Touched a cursed door handle? Use the magic potion (hand sanitizer) to get rid of the curse. Tired from a long journey around the garden? It’s time for some snacks and a drink of juice, but only after they wash their hands.
Along the way, you can start introducing other items to the adventure bag, such as a mask and a face shield. This helps prepare them for going outdoors.
Hand out quests and missions
Want to make tasks more interesting? Sometimes, it’s all in the delivery. Assign them as missions or quests with matching rewards. Washing hands might get them some chocolate, or cleaning up their play could get them some screen time.
You can even write them down on paper and keep them in small envelopes so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself. This might take a bit more effort, but it could also help make tasks more interesting.
We’ve all heard that it takes at least 20 seconds of washing your hands to make sure everything is disinfected, and we’ve been told that “Happy Birthday” is the best song to time it to. Still, your child will likely be more engaged if you let them pick from a playlist of their favorite songs.
This can be made more fun when your handwash is part of the game, as in the case of Safeguard Instantly Foaming Hand Soap, with its 1 pump InstaFOAM action, lathering up makes handwashing so much fun for kids!
At the same time, you can train your kids to make this part of their routine with the proper 4-step handwashing techniques throughout the duration of the song. While humming, you can show that you’re washing your palm, back of the hand, in between fingers, and fingernails. Of course, parents love Safeguard because it removes 99.9% of germs and protects you and your kids even after washing so you can focus on having 100% fun.
You can even take it up a notch by assigning songs to other tasks like washing their face or taking a shower. When the song gets played on your speakers, it means it’s time to do the task associated with it. Whether it’s cartoon themes or kpop singles, this can help your child develop a schedule while also developing a taste for music.
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