Wash Your Hands

by David & Anne Ellsworth

Now here's a worthy subject for kids of all ages. Of course, we have written it to work with your youngest singers since we feel that they should learn this as early as possible in life. As we are all aware, music can be a valuable vehicle for delivering important messages and for reinforcing what we want our children to learn. Considering what we now know about the transmission of sickness and disease through touch, it's important to teach kids to wash their hands often (with water and soap).

While the students are learning and singing the song, let them pantomime washing their hands. Or, if you have access to a sink, let them actually stick their hands in the water and wash them! If you do this, be sure to have nice clean towels available for drying, too.

The melody of the song is simple and is always sung in unison. The spoken part is also unison and very repetitious, so it should be easy to learn and remember.

Our recording of this song makes it lots of fun to sing, and we recommend you use it with your students. They will hear some happy sound effects, like water running and draining (at the end), as well as "scrubby" sounds here and there to help them with their own scrubbing. The ongoing fiddle ostinati is also pretty nifty, as is the silly electric guitar during the spoken parts.

After the song, one student gleefully says, "Pass the towel, please!" This is optional, of course.

Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.