I’m not sure if we’re being exposed to unfamiliar germs, or if it’s just been a harsh winter, but at least one member of the family has been sick since we arrived in France. Most recently, we enjoyed a round of pink eye, which kept Olive home from a field trip to the ocean, and Oscar home from a Carnavale parade. Being sick is such a bummer!

To keep further sickness at bay, I’ve decided we need to step up the handwashing at Maison Blair. So I’ve been searching for ideas to encourage good hand washing habits. Here are three we’ve recently implemented:

1) We make hand-washing part of a few simple “routine reminders” I say throughout the day. For example, in the morning, I ask each child to remember their “hands, teeth, hair”. After school, I say “backpack, hands, snack”.

2) We sing a song while we wash, and we don’t rinse till the end of the song — so that we know we’ve washed long enough. (The ABC song is just the right length.)

3) We ask the kids to pick out the handsoap at the store (we use pump vs. bar because it seems to be easier for little hands to deal with). If they pick it out, they are more excited to use it.

How about you? Any hand washing tips that work at your house?