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Handwashing with Rufus

Teach your kids how to wash their hands with Rufus the messy monster.

E.coli is a nasty bacteria which can make children under five seriously ill as their immune systems are not yet strong enough to fight off infection.

While the majority of E.coli cases happen at home, there were 49 E.coli outbreaks in childcare settings between 2010 and 2016. We’ve created the Rufus handwashing programme to help make learning good handwashing habits fun. 

Handwashing - the Rufus way


How to use these resources



Rufus storybook thumbnail

The storybook helps teach children the key times to wash their hands.

And Rufus has a fun song, sung to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat which everyone can sing as they are washing their hands.

Wash, wash, wash your hands,
Thumbs and fingers too,
Rinse and then make sure they’re dry,
That’s the thing to do!”

Read the storybook

Sink poster

Print out the poster and put it up over the sink so the children can follow the five steps.

Print out the sink poster


Postear Nigh do lamha

An póstaer as Gaeilge


Character cut-outs

Rufus handwashing storybook character cut-outs

Cut out these characters from the storybook and make puppets to create new adventures for Rufus and friends.

Character cut-outs Sheet 1 | Character cut-outs Sheet 2


Colouring sheets

Print out these colouring sheets to create some Rufus art for your walls.

Colour in a sink poster | Colour in Rufus


More videos

How to wash your hands - the 5 steps

When to wash your hands


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