Clean hands bins
Managing hand washing before snack time and meals can be challenging, particularly due to the inevitable waiting periods associated to this ritual (waiting for their turn, waiting for others to finish, etc.).
Of course, as early childhood educators, we can use various activities to make hand washing fun, but the truth is that we are often busy getting the snacks or meal ready while children are busy washing their hands.
For this reason, I suggest creating a series of clean hands bins, bins filled with a variety of calm activities that can only be explored at the table where children eat once they have washed their hands. They represent an excellent way of encouraging children to respect the hand washing ritual and keep them calm while they wait for you to serve their snack or meal.
In order to keep children interested in the clean hands bins, they must contain a sufficient number of items (one for each child) and the contents of the bins must vary from day to day.
I like to use a large container filled with 8 similar items or activities, but you may also choose to create individual clean hands bins.
- Print hunt and seek games available in the educatall club and laminate them. Arrange each scene and the corresponding cards in a Ziploc bag. Children will enjoy searching for the items in the scenes and trading bags with another child when they are done.
- A container filled with large necklace beads and pieces of yarn or string children can thread them on.
- A container filled with colourful anti-stress balls (children love manipulating them).
- A container filled with new books borrowed from your local library.
- A container filled with several figurines. Children will use them to create different stories.
- A container filled with markers, clipboards, and drawing paper (one clipboard per child).
As you can see, simply fill your bin(s) with material you have on hand that can be used independently in a precise context.
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