Learning About Hygiene

  • Without introducing the topic, start with the Wildfire exercise then follow with the Learning About Hygiene session.
  • Based on the community you are in, you may want to focus on the issue of access to clean water and soap. If this is not readily available, part of the activity could be about discussing where there is access to clean water facilities.
  • Large Piece of Paper or Board
  • Marker Pen
Time Required: 
One hour
  • To understand how personal hygiene effects health.

Part 1: Wildfire

  1. Instruct the girls to sit in a circle and close their eyes. Tap four to five girls on the shoulder.
  2. The girls should walk around and shake hands with one another. Explain that the girls who were tapped should discreetly scratch the hand of anyone whose hand they shake.
  3. Once a person’s hand has been scratched, she too must scratch the hands she shakes.
  4. End the game after a few minutes.
  5. Call the girls together and count how many were scratched.
  6. Explain that germs spread in the same way. A small number of people who are ill can make many other people ill.
  7. Lead a discussion based on the notes to the right.
  8. Ask girls to look at how many of them were ‘infected’ in just a few minutes and to think about how many germs they are exposed to in an entire day.

Part 2: Learning about Hygiene

  1. Make two columns labelled ‘true’ and ‘false’ on a large piece of paper.
  2. Divide the girls into two groups.
  3. Give each group a statement and ask whether each is true or false.
  4. Get one participant from the group to come and paste the statement in the right column on the paper (‘true’ or ‘false’).
  5. The groups should discuss each statement and why it is true or false.
  6. Close by highlighting that the way other people do things is not necessarily the correct way. Explain the importance of washing hands frequently, especially when sick, after using the bathroom and after coughing or sneezing into your hands. Highlight that the better personal hygiene a person has, the less chance there is that they will become sick and that they can serve as role models for the younger children.
Statement Notes
Sneezing or coughing into my hand is okay as long
as I wipe my hand afterwards.
Touching my eyes, nose and mouth frequently brings
germs into my body and can make me sick.
It does not matter how long my nails are because
germs cannot live underneath the fingernails.
Garbage bags are full of germs. True
It is not necessary to wash your hands after urinating. False
Clean clothes are less likely to carry germs. True
Water that has been frozen is always clean and safe
to drink.

Boiling water makes it clean and safe to drink.

Washing with soap and water cleans dirt and germs
off your body.
If you have access to sanitary napkins, you should
change them twice a day.
You do not need to wash underwear. False
The area around the vagina can be kept clean by
washing it with water.