Children learn best by example, and good habits start at home said Ms Tan.
Do we clear our own dishes and make our own beds? Do we bin our used tissues or leave them lying about?
It helps when parents become good role models for their children when visiting hawker centres, fast food restaurants, food courts, coffee shops and the list goes on. We have the ability to clear our tables after eating, and bin our trash properly.
Ms Gloria Tan and her children; hygiene education begins at home. | Photo: Gloria Tan
Apart from that, parents can also start conversations about the immediate impact of inconsiderate and unhygienic actions. An example would be leaving plates in the room after eating which could attract scary roommates – pests like cockroaches and flies! They carry germs and viruses that can make us ill.
3. What are some simple tasks that children can do to remind them of cleanliness and hygiene habits?
It is important to remind our children to wash their hands with soap frequently, especially before and after meals, and after using the toilet.
Here are some ways parents can get their children to clean up after themselves:
- Clearing the play area – and putting toys back where they belong
- Families to establish a routine for household chores
- Children to tidy their own bed
- Sweep the floor
- Wash the dishes
4. How can we make it exciting for children to learn about hygiene habits?
Ms Tan recommends turning household chores into fun games. A list of good hygiene habits with fun games include:
Sort out the trash:
Create different “recycling bins” for plastic, cans and paper. Then, race to see who can sort the “trash” fastest.
Tidy up the room:
Have a race between you and your kids to put the toys back in their place as fast as you can!
Clean up the house:
Pair a cleaning activity with your child’s favourite songs. Pause the music intermittently. When the music stops, they need to freeze in place. They will be eager to resume immediately once the music comes back on. Another way is to play cleaning-themed songs such as this one