Never has it seemed more important than now to have healthy habits that can help prevent the spread of flu and other illnesses. The outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus and the media attention on it, has driven home this point. Season after season, we hear about the importance of hand hygiene, cough manners and more. Now it is increasingly critical that we practice these precautions, as well as teach our children these habits.
Here are some resources that can help to explain and to teach children.
Music is a great way to help children remember what actions they need do. Here are a series of music videos that will help to reinforce washing hands, or putting on masks.
This song makes handwashing fun, while going through the steps of a through hand wash. Important for all times, not just flu season.
曲、詞：嘉芙姐姐、Terry Ko@153 Studio
到最後 關水喉 切勿再直接觸摸水龍頭
Free Printable download: Wash Hands Song 洗洗手 (嘉芙姐姐) Lyrics with and without Jyutping
Cute song by the famous and popular Veronica of 奇世界奇音樂 who has produced many much-loved Cantonese nursery rhymes. This song is about what to do if you have a fever, and uses the beautiful illustrations of Dumo.
如有發燒 還有些咳 還覺得冇力周身骨痛 難受了嗎 誠實告之 還要戴口罩睇醫生
Free Printable download: If you have a Fever 如有發燒 Lyrics with and without Jyutping
If you are in a location where you need to ensure the kids wear a masks, then it is important they do not resist, as well as learn to put them on properly. Here are a few songs that may help.
This song teaches the techniques of putting on a face masks in a cute and fun manner.
橡筋繞過兩隻耳仔 再拉開口罩 啦啦啦
Free Printable download: I know how to put on a mask 我都識得戴口罩 (嘉芙姐姐) Lyrics with and without Jyutping
This song aims to teach the steps to put on a mask (教授戴口罩的步驟) , as well as the reasoning behind wearing a mask (讓學生理解生病或預防疾病要戴口罩).
Free Printable download: Put on mask 戴口罩 Lyrics with and without Jyutping
6. Washing Hands Song 洗手歌 by Music Therapy in Class Hong Kong
This song aims to teach when and how to wash hands.
Lyrics pending. Please check back in a few days.
Put on a mask and be a superhero – perfect song to nudge those who are resistant to putting on a mask. (For those who need to put one one)
2. Take good care of your health – 我會注意身體健康(廣東話)
A story in Cantonese about what to do to stay healthy.
3. Masked Hero DIY Picture Book 口罩小衛兵自己做繪本
A cute story by Taiwanese Illustrator MIIA*Mia about the importance of wearing masks. Downloadable (Traditional Chinese) PDF link in her post with instructions on how to print and put together the book.
Update: New language versions available: English | Japanese
Update: Mama Baby Mandarin has translated her book into Simplified Chinese, pinyin, Traditional Chinese and zhuyin and the PDFs are available on the blog.
More Cantonese videos
For more Cantonese videos on stories and songs related to hygiene and germs, please check out this playlist Cantonese stories & songs about Hygiene and Sickness
A card game for 2-4 players, recommended age 8+. Please note this is a game, and may not be scientifically accurate in its details, but it will emphasize that we must work together to prevent an epidemic.
Printable download link on their Facebook post. Download, print, play and have fun!
Posters and other health education materials
Public service announcements are everywhere during flu season. You see it on TV, radio, posters in public places. I printed out some of these posters, and placed them in prominent positions around the house. E.g. Washing hands poster in the bathroom, so that your kids can see it every time they wash their hands.
Here are some good sources of information:
1. Hong Kong Department of Health
- Information on hand hygiene (including posters, pamphlets, Cantonese videos and more) in Traditional Chinese and English. These are located at the bottom of the page under the section 健康教育資源 or Health Education Materials. I like using them, as I know they are likely fact checked, and possibly what kids might learn in school or watch on TV
2. CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) Medical Centre 香港中文大學醫院（中大醫院）
3. World Health Organisation (WHO)
- Recommendations for the general public for hygiene and safe food practices: in Simplified Chinese and English – cute posters available for download. (Not available in Traditional Chinese)
For Cantonese Info Videos (mostly public Service announcements from government departments, please check out this YouTube playlist Info videos on Healthy Hygiene habits and sickness.
I hope some of these resources can help your children build lifelong healthy habits, and keep illnesses at bay.
You might also enjoy reading about :
- Novel Coronavirus Resources for Children in Chinese and Cantonese
- Covid-19 : Chinese-English Christian Resources for Families
- Why it is hard for many ABCs to pass on Cantonese?
- Brushing Teeth Song Cantonese Nursery Rhyme 刷牙歌粵語兒歌
- Cantonese Music for Kids including lyric printables
- Cantonese Cartoons on YouTube