With a new school year just weeks away, many parents are over the moon about having their kids out of the house again. Of course, because children act as little petri dishes when crammed into a classroom with their peers, homework isn’t the only thing your children might be bringing home from school with them.
While many parents are teaching their children the importance of masks, and keeping vaccinations up to date, it’s also important to arm our children with other tools to stay healthy. Because we cannot always be by their side to help them make good choices, it’s very important to instill a sense of hygiene and personal responsibility in our children.
Here at Pinwheel Crafts, we have come up with a couple of back-to-school ideas to stay safe and healthy in the classroom. First, let’s teach your kids how good hand washing practices can keep germs away with a simple experiment. You probably know what we are talking about…
The Soap and Pepper Experiment
You might have seen the video on YouTube of how pepper floats away in a bowl of water when you dip a finger covered with soap in it. The science behind this is that pepper is lighter than water. The surface tension of water keeps pepper intact. Soap breaks this surface tension, which is why pepper floats away.
When conducting this experiment, tell your kids that pepper is meant to represent germs and soap is their protection so they can understand why the experiment matters.
Here’s what you need to do:
You Will Need
- Dish soap
- Fill the bowl with water.
- Sprinkle pepper on top of the water.
- Tell your kid to dip their finger in the water and pull it back out. (The pepper will get stuck to their finger.)
- Now, tell them to cover their finger with a few drops of liquid dish soap, and have them dip it in the peppered water again.
- When they stick their finger in the bowl, the pepper will float away.
Child-Safe Hand Sanitizer
The one thing you and your children should always carry nowadays is a bottle of hand sanitizer. In the early days of the lockdown, masks, sanitizer, disposable gloves, and toilet paper were the four items that ran out of stock. The former two items can be made at home easily. And if your children are the crafty type, make sure to check out our online store and for the Pinwheel Crafts Soap Making Kit. It’s a great way turn soap-making into a fun activity and get kids excited about washing their hands at home or school. The kit will be coming soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Hand sanitizers use rubbing alcohol that is safe for kids. You can use whatever concentration you like, but 70% isopropyl alcohol is recommended. When you use higher concentrations, the alcohol evaporates much faster. 70% stays on the hands long enough to kill more germs. You will also need to supervise the younger ones to ensure they don’t try to eat it (as small children are want to do). Here’s what you need to do:
You Will Need
- 70% Isopropyl Alcohol: 2/3 cup
- Aloe Vera Gel (freshly cut, if possible): 1/3 cup
- Essential Oils (optional)
- Small Squeeze Bottle
- In a glass bowl, add the isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel.
- Stir the mixture gently.
- Add a couple of drops of your preferred essential oil.
- Once thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into a squeeze bottle.
Optional: Create a variety of sanitizers using different essential oils and cover the bottlers with floral or fruity stickers that represent their scents.
Hand Wash Stop
One of the most important things we can teach our children is that it’s necessary to wash their hands frequently during school as well as when the return home. Crowded indoor spaces like schools can be host to a slew of different germs and viruses. Table tops, poles in the playground, the bus door — they are all covered with microscopic germs. They can’t be seen by the naked eye, but they are there.
Children, sometimes, don’t like to do what they are told and that can include washing their hands. However, most of them do love to play with their toys. So, what you can do to encourage them to wash their hands is plan a toy wash at least twice a week. Tell them how their toys need a good scrub and that they should do the cleaning with their hands. As parents, we know that since their toys stay inside most days, they probably don’t need to be washed regularly. However, since our children go out every day, they need to wash their hands every time they come into the house.
You Will Need
- Large Transparent Box
- Liquid Hand Soap
- Fill the box with water and pour in the liquid hand soap.
- Agitate the water to create a nice layer of bubbles.
- Add in the toys and give your kid the toothbrush.
- Show them how to scrub each toy for 20 seconds (because that’s how long it takes to effectively kill germs on hands).
This is a simple way to trick your children into doing something responsible while disguising it as fun! Make it a barbie bath time, or maybe a fun carwash. Adding an element of pretend will help to keep them interested and engaged.
This craft will reinforce the habit of your child covering their mouth and nose when sneezing when they are at school. Since many viruses spread through touch and airborne particles when near someone, it’s important to maintain this habit. On that note, make sure to keep a packet of sanitizing wipes in your kid’s school bag and have them wipe down their desk and the surfaces wherever they sit at school throughout the day.
You Will Need
- Paint Brushes
- Paper Plates
- Googly Eyes
- Choose a skin color paint and cover the bottom of a paper plate with it. This will be the face.
- On a separate paper plate, paint it with the same skin color.
- Now have our child neatly trace their hand over the painted section.
- Use scissors to cut out the shape of the hand.
- Add brush strokes of brown or black paint to for hair on the head.
- Attach the googly eyes with glue onto the head paper plate.
- Glue the tissues onto the unpainted side of the hand.
- Glue the hand with tissue side down onto the paper plate (as if the hand is holding the tissue to the face).
- Make sure that only the eyes are showing to create the illusion that the hand is covering the mouth and nose.
Most kids love school crafts that involve doing something exciting, like getting their hands dirty. These back-to-school ideas are perfect for not only teaching your kid the importance of hygiene, but also how fun it can be to make and learn something new. If you’re looking for more activities to do with your children after school, make sure to check out our entire line of all in one craft kits over at the Pinwheel Crafts online store.
Until next time, happy crafting!