Good news! Delight in this teacher’s clever hand washing incentive for littlies

Posted in Family Health.

There are so many clever and kind stories emerging as we all work together to get through these unprecedented times.

Hand washing reinvented!

Take this brilliant teacher’s excellent hand washing incentive, for instance. Shauna Woods is teaching her Grade 3 kids to wash their hands thoroughly with the use of a simple stamp.

“We are doing our best in room 550 to keep the germs away,” this excellent teacher from Hallsville Public School in Hallsville, Missouri wrote on a now-viral Facebook post.

“Students got stamps on their hands this morning. If it’s gone by the end of the day from washing their hands, they get a prize. We are trying.”

Explaining how this came about to TODAY Parents, Shauna said she’d been looking for a creative way to encourage the repeat hand washing that’s necessary at the moment.

“I began to think of something that I could put on their hands that they would have to wash off,” she said.

“On a Monday morning, I saw my ‘Mrs. Woods’ stamp sitting there and I told my students to wash their hands in the classroom sink and then see Mrs. Woods for a stamp.”

“We discussed how to properly wash their hands and I told them they would earn a prize if their stamp was faded or disappeared altogether,” she continued.

“Day one was training day, as students were motivated to wash that stamp off or rub it off right away. Once we set clear expectations, students have asked for a stamp every day and know how to properly wash their hands. We’ve started a trend for the school and now, after going viral, the nation.”


We are doing our best in room 550 to keep the germs away. Students got stamps on their hands this morning. If it’s gone by the end of the day from washing their hands, they get a prize. 😉 We are trying.

Posted by Mrs. Woods 3rd Grade on Monday, 2 March 2020

“Any incentive is a positive!”

This is such a clever idea and just the sort of positive story we all need to be reading. Not only does this reframe the focus of hand washing for kids, it can help to ease anxiety by providing something fun and competitive to zero in on.

Facebook followers loved this idea as much as we do.

“What a good idea!” one wrote. “It’s not easy to get a class full of young kids to wash their hands all day long, so any incentive is a positive!”

“Great idea,” another agreed. “Always going to have some germs in this world. But teaching kids hand washing early will instil in them the importance of it so when something way more harmful comes along, they will remember.”

Get started today!

The ace thing about this is that you can take this idea and make it your own. Right now. Today!

Perhaps you don’t have a stamp? That’s okay! You can use a pen or felt tip marker to write or draw something on your child’s hand. Then encourage them to wash their hands SO well that your handiwork disappears.

This might just be the most delightfully memorable part of this whole crisis for your kids, if you play your cards right!

We’re in this together

It’s not just kids that Shauna is keen to promote good health too, she’s also sent a message to other teachers.

“Teachers, it is equally as important that we stay healthy for our students,” she stressed.

Teachers are on the frontline at the moment (along with many other public-facing employees such as supermarket workers, pharmacy staff and medical staff) so Shauna’s advice — and a feeling of being part of a community — may be just what they’re after.

Keep washing those hands, everyone.


Get more babyology straight to your inbox