Tips for maintaining good hygiene at playgroup 

It’s never too early to start practicing good hygiene habits with our little ones.  

Children learn a great deal by copying the behavior of their parents, caregivers and other kids. The best way to teach children about good hygiene is to make sure we practice good habits ourselves. 

Here are some of our tips for good hygiene at playgroup! 

– Washing our hands is the simplest, most effective way to ensure good hygiene. Washing hands before eating or handling food, after changing a nappy, using the toilet, using a tissue or sneezing/coughing etc. is good practice to get into early on. 

– Teach little ones to “catch coughs and sneezes” in a tissue or their elbow (and don’t forget to bin the tissue after each use). 

– Attend to spills – mop up kitchen mess, paint/glue spills etc. with different sponges than used on food preparation surfaces. 

– Dispose of used tissues, soiled cloths and nappies. 

– Clean up bodily fluids with disposable gloves or paper towels. 

– Regularly clean and disinfect all kitchen, toilet, bathroom areas, tables and door handles

– Wash toys regularly with warm soapy water and then leave to air or pop them out in the sun. Note: soft or plush toys can be difficult to sanitise as they absorb fluids and are often not washable (so better to avoid at playgroup). 

– Provide clean tea towels, hand towels, paper towels and sponges. 

– Wash and store all crockery, cutlery and food containers adequately.  

– Sweep, mop and vacuum after every session. 

When kids are sick 

It’s always important to note if children are unwell then they should not attend playgroup. Not only will the child be unable to participate happily, but you could risk exposing the other children and adults unnecessarily to viral and bacterial infections.  

Where a child has an infectious disease the Health Department will be able to advise the minimum number of exclusion days so always rely on these guidelines.  

Little things… Ways to support children understand the importance of good hygiene

  • PlayKids have a fun video on teaching little ones to cover their mouths when coughing and sneezing. Watch it here.
  • Make hand washing fun with this Wiggles Hand Washing Video
  • A fun and easy way to encourage children to get into good hand washing practice could be to get them to sing the “happy birthday” song while soaping up their hands and then getting them to rinse their hands once they’ve finished singing.  
  • When it comes to washing toys, many playgroups hold a ‘toy wash’ where little ones get involved in washing all the toys together (this is a fun messy play activity too!).  

Allocate someone to be responsible for checking supplies of cleaning materials and replacing them when necessary. It could also be worthwhile to have a cleaning roster system where someone is responsible for taking home items to wash.  

For more information please visit the Hygiene & Infection Control section on our online Playgroup WA Resource Kit.