The rapid spread of the Coronavirus around the world and its impact have been well documented. The facts and figures that surround the pandemic are dizzying and the restrictions ever-changing. However, we all hold one of the most effective ways to fight back at the virus in the palms of our hands – it’s also often overlooked because it is so simple and basic. affected millions.
Hand washing still remains the most simple and effective way to control the coronavirus and so we’ve created the MindYourFootprint! response to the coronavirus pandemic. Called the Wash Wash Challenge, the campaign has been developed to help schools, parents and carers educate children about handwashing correctly and to empower everyone to play their part in keeping each other safe.
Schools have been open across the UK throughout lockdown, but are set to welcome back all years on the week commencing March 8th. It’s not simply a return to homeschooling that we want to help to prevent; it’s protecting and preserving the health and wellbeing of both our school community and wider society. As with academic learning, the most powerful way to do this is by creating good handwashing habits and routines and by laying down patterns that the subconscious can follow. This is truly where we can build the best behaviours.
The Wash Wash Challenge harnesses the dual superpowers of song and smiles to make it more fun, more usual and more engaging for young children to wash their hands. Using the right length of time and proper handwashing methodology, as advised by the NHS and World Health Organisation, we have created a routine that children can follow, connect with and that will become second nature to them the more they practice it.
What is the Wash Wash Challenge?
Set to the specially-written Wash Wash Song, composed by music teacher, Ben Harlan, the song lyrics are simple, informative and easy to sing along to. MindYouFootprint! Has created this free resource to empower children to make a difference to their world around them, even if they’re not fully aware of the huge -positive- impact that their actions are having.
Who ever said that washing your hands is not fun? Take the Wash Wash Challenge and you’ll be a handwashing hero in just 5 minutes. To become a handwashing superstar, watch our video with the sound ON. Watch and listen. Try it again, but this time close your eyes and just listen to the music. Open your eyes and watch again, reading the song words and singing along. Do this one three more times and then you can try it on your own. Copy friendly Footkin and get washing – you’ve mastered handwashing already! When it’s time to wash your hands, simply sing along and wash wash.
Children have had a lot of new rules to learn this year – and these rules keep changing as the Tier System changes. There is, however, one constant in the fight against the Coronavirus and it is the one action that could make the greatest difference to the spread of the virus. What’s more, it’s something that the children can take ownership of and that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives. The Wash Wash Challenge engrains the handwashing habit in their subconscious at a young age and in a fun way that they won’t see as a chore. It’s so easy to get involved – simply follow the instructions in the ‘For Children’ section above and make a difference to the world around you. You can also print the posters and use the Parent’s Leaflet.
Simply print The Wash Wash song poster(s) of your choice and display it near to your hand washing area. You can also, together with the children, learn the words through our video content. We know that collective singing is not encouraged but many schools are using humming to help the children express themselves musically.
To get started, all you have to do is to show the Wash Wash Challenge video in an assembly or during a PSHE lesson or music lesson. We also have Teachers’ Guide for different age groups that you can download and use for free.
Education Education Education – and a sanctuary for many
We have all witnessed the importance of schools staying open this year. The impact of accessing education is a core belief of MindYourFootprint! and we have always worked to develop engaging and experiential programmes that create a fun and easy learning environment. However, this year, our society can see the tangible difference that having a school to go to makes to a child, in terms of self-worth, purpose and mental health and wellbeing. For some children, it also represents a safe haven and a hot meal. These are the reasons that MindYourFootprint! have created and is driving the Wash Wash Challenge forward. A return to widespread school closures is unfathomable for children and young people.
We fervently believe that – if we can educate millions of children – about handwashing the right way, we can help to stop the spread of the Coronavirus and to ensure that children’s education will not be interrupted again.
SCHOOLS A chance to meet Footkin
We’d like to invite your staff and pupils to officially participate in The Wash Wash Challenge and actively contribute to controlling the virus. To take part, simply capture a Wash Wash Challenge on video – it can be one child to maintain social distancing – and email it to us. You’ll be entered into our free prize draw!
When pandemic restrictions have been lifted and we can travel freely again, Footkin will visit 3 winning schools (chosen at random from all schools registered to participate), to conduct a free Keep Healthy workshop or a workshop on any other Footkin topic for free! Visit the full resources section of our website to discover the different topics you can choose from for your free workshop.
Children and Parents A Chance to Win
Would you like to be in with the chance of winning some Footkin goodies? Enter our monthly competition (running January to June) and you could win a signed copy of both ‘From Marchoon to Earth’ and ‘A Day With Footkin’. Entering is really easy – simply post a #WashWashChallenge tagged video or picture with you/ you child doing The Wash Wash Challenge or email us the video or picture directly and you’ll be entered into our monthly draw.
Another free resource to support you and your school community
In Spring 2020, we developed a free health and wellbeing resource, the Keep Healthy Activity Book, which was shared by our partner organisations and schools all over the world. The Keep Healthy Book was used to explain the virus to children and has since also been used to support school re-openings.
The Keep Healthy Activity Book is a free-to-download activity book talks to kids in a way that they can understand and relate to, without overwhelming them with frightening facts about the coronavirus. It offers a friendly face and entertaining activities with our mascot, Footkin, teaching children what viruses are and showing them how to protect themselves from viruses, including how to deal with a cough or a sneeze, and the importance of frequent hand-washing and avoiding touching their faces.
If you want to use one of our Footkin GIFs or stickers to promote the challenge, please visit our GIPHY page!
Pin yourself on the map and show the world you take part in the #WashWashChallenge
Lytham lodge nursery
Ballam Rd, Lytham Saint Annes FY8, UK
Dundee DD4 9QZ
Mind Your Footprint