Happy Hands!

Happy Hands!

Learning about the importance of washing our hands correctly and the reasons why.

30-40 mins

Curriculum for Excellence

  • HWB 0-33a - I am becoming aware of how cleanliness, hygiene and safety can affect health and wellbeing and I apply this knowledge in my everyday routines such as taking care of my teeth.

  • HWB 1-33a - I am becoming aware of how cleanliness, hygiene and safety can affect health and wellbeing and I apply this knowledge in my everyday routines such as taking care of my teeth.

Learning intentions / Success criteria

  • We are learning to talk about the importance of washing hands correctly.
  • We are learning when and why to wash our hands.
  • I can explain and show steps to washing my hands.
  • I can explain why it is important to wash my hands.


  • Teacher's notes on food safety
  • Chalk/glitter/paint
  • Happy Hands worksheet (outlines the 8 steps of hand washing)
  • iPad/video camera
  • Paper/pens to draw around pupils' hands to plot on class timetable and design posters

Setting up

  • P1, P2 – teach about the topic as pupils are at an age when they can still learn this and may not have much experience of hand washing
  • P3 and above – should have already learned this topic and it is more about reinforcing and consolidation
  • Hand washing is closely linked to cross contamination so this lesson could be combined with another lesson looking at cross contamination e.g Germ Outbreak


Warm up/introduction:

  1. Chalk on children’s hands (different colours representing different bacteria).
  2. Children play for 5 minutes everyone gathers back together or ask children to talk about something they have touched today e.g. door handle/toilet flusher etc.

Discussion of results of warm up:

  • Pupils to point out areas covered in chalk and using 'I see, I think, I wonder' exercise - discuss in detail
  • Pupils use 'I see, I think, I wonder' exercise to discuss the things they have touched today

The FSS 8 steps:

  1. Explain each step.
  2. Pupils wash hands using 8 steps to clean off chalk/paint/glitter.
  3. Discuss areas that can easily be missed.
  4. Pupils to make a song and dance to the 8 steps.
  5. Sing song or dance while washing hands using the 8 steps.

Create a poster

Pupils design posters to promote hand washing for the school and classroom.

Cross-curricular links

Maths – counting the 8 steps

Literacy – listening and talking

Literacy / functional writing – writing / reading 8 steps

Expressive arts – song, dance

Art – designing poster

Assessment opportunities


SAY – I can explain and show steps to washing my hands

SAY – I can explain why it is important to wash my hands

Consider CfE Benchmarks, for example: 

  • Explains the importance of daily hygiene routines, for example, hand wqashing, teeth brushing and body cleaniness.



Use visuals of germs.


  • Interactive 8 steps, pupils have to fill in captions for each step.
  • Teach younger years the 8 steps.
  • Record a video for a TV ad teaching the correct way to wash hands for younger years – played in assembly/FSS competition/school website.
  • Homework: Tally chart to record how many times a day pupils wash their hands, can also include parents and family.
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