Global Handwashing Day – Teaching Children About Bacteria and Hygiene
October 15th is Global Handwashing Day, a day created to raise awareness of how the simple act of washing your hands after using the toilet and before and after preparing food, is vital to prevent the spread of infections.
It is important that children are aware of the need to wash their hands and why, but it is difficult to teach them about bacteria. They don’t understand something they can’t see. They are often distracted or too busy to remember to wash their hands and are unaware of the consequences of not doing so.
I am always nagging at my kids to make sure they have washed their hands and they are pretty good at remembering, but it is more through habit than anything else. The other day my young son asked me what a bug was. He was referring to bacteria, as oppose to the insect variety. The thought of explaining microorganisms and the effect they have on the body felt like A-level Biology all over again, but as luck would have it, I had a copy of a lovely book by Rebecca Bielawski sent to me, called Meet Bacteria.
The book is aimed at very young children (preschool up to 6 years) and uses beautiful illustrations and simple rhymes to show that bacteria come in all shapes and sizes and have different jobs (not all bad). It introduces children to some new words and concepts and teaches them the importance of washing their hands.
As a parent of one of those children (you know, the ones who ask a lot of questions!), I really appreciate books like these. I love books that manage to convey a message in a simple, effective and fun way and for me, it ticks all those boxes. I think children are very visual little beings and they need to see things displayed before them in an easy to understand manner. I’m sure preschools and nurseries would appreciate having a book series like this to help them explain a few things.
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.