Washing Your Hands Doesn’t Have to Be a Chore


With COVID-19 on the rise again in parts of New York, it is more important than ever to properly wash our hands – for our own safety and the safety of others. For Global Handwashing Day, we are sharing some fun tips and songs (for kids and adults!) that you can implement into your handwashing routine!

Simple Steps from the CDC

The CDC states five steps you should incorporate into washing your hands every time:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Following these easy steps is the best way to protect yourself and family. In addition to times when you’re likely to pick up germs, make sure to wash your hands after being in public spaces, touching surfaces others may frequently touch, and before touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

For a visual demonstration on how to wash your hands, check out Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System’s one-minute video demonstration recommended by our Manager of School Year Programs, Cat Kenny.

Our students in the 14Y Youth Center demonstrate their hand washing skills!

How to Count 20 Seconds

A good way to keep track of how long you’ve been washing your hands is to sing! Singing songs makes the whole experience more fun and makes sure that you’re washing your hands for at least 20 seconds. What should I sing, you might ask? Sing the following songs for the best bathroom concert!

You can sing the following songs with your little ones:

We didn’t forget about you, adults! The choruses of these songs are approximately 20 seconds long:

How to Help Your Children Wash Their Hands

At the 14th Street Y, our top priority is making sure everyone is safe, so we have taken many precautions to be able to safely reopen the 14Y Preschool and open our new 14Y Youth Center – including encouraging hand washing in our young students. Here are some tips from our Preschool teachers on how to encourage your little one to wash their hands, which they’re demonstrating in the images above:

  • Sing songs like the ABCs, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, or any of the songs we listed above that work for kids of all ages. One song that our Preschool teachers sing includes hand-washing instructions to the tune of Frère Jacques: “Tops and bottoms / Tops and bottoms / In between / In between / All around your hands / All around your hands / Now you’re clean!”  

  • Have a fun little competition with your children on who can make the most bubbles with the soap. Some of our students actually love to wash their hands as it’s a good excuse for some quick water and soap bubble play throughout the day!
  • Encourage your child to create white hand gloves with the suds, this will guarantee they get every inch of their hands covered in soap, so they’re nice and clean.
  • Allow your child to wash a toy or small object with soap and water while they wash their hands. We allow children to bring toy cars to the sink so they can create a car wash!

We can all do our part to keep the 14Y community healthy by following these simple steps and using these helpful tips to encourage handwashing in our children, too.