It seems to be a universal truth that kids don’t like to bathe, brush their teeth or just be clean in general. Childhood is messy! Although embracing playtime and sensory activities are important in their development, it is equally important to teach them how to take care of themselves and stay healthy. Dr. Harry Stylli, who has made keeping people healthy his life’s work, would agree: nurturing these habits at an early age will prepare kids for adolescence and follow them into adulthood.

Taking a Bath

There are many ways to make bath time more fun for your child. Pick one or many activities to make the ritual more exciting and something for them to look forward to.

  • Make a batch of bath time “paint.” This is as simple as mixing food coloring with shaving cream. Give your little artist some paintbrushes and let them color the shower walls to their heart’s content. The paint will rinse off under the shower head, so there is no permanent damage to worry about.
  • Have special toys that are only given at bath time. Keeping these exclusive to being in the bathtub will excite youngsters and give a sense of anticipation rather than dread. These can be whatever you like, but water-themed toys like fish or mermaids add an extra layer of fun.
  • Bring pots and pans into the bathtub and let your child “cook” with the sudsy water. Ask them to make you something special and watch them splash around in joy.
  • Blow bubbles. If there’s one thing that all kids can agree on, it’s this: bubbles are FUN! Since they’re made out of soapy water anyway, the bathroom is the perfect place to blow bubbles indoors. The mess is kept at bay and your child will be delighted at the novelty.

Brushing Teeth

From the moment they start developing teeth, it’s a good idea to help your little one learn to brush them. Help them when they’re very young, but a few simple tricks as they get older can motivate them to do it properly themselves.

  • Make a star chart for them. List every day of the week on the chart and allow them to put a star sticker whenever they remember to brush. What kid doesn’t love stickers?
  • Buy flavored toothpaste and mouthwash. There are many tasty kid-friendly varieties nowadays, including a natural choice by Tom’s of Maine.
  • Sing special tooth-brushing songs with them. There are a number of good ones online to get them excited to brush.
  • Show them how brushing helps them. One effective way to do this is to draw a tooth on a whiteboard and color it in with a different-colored marker. Give your child a toothbrush and tell them to brush the tooth. Explain how important proper brushing is to get all teeth clean by using this activity as an example.

Being a parent is as difficult as it is rewarding. Instilling good hygiene habits into your child is a reward of its own, and will benefit them for the rest of their lives.