Skip to content

Handwashing the Rufus way

Teach children good handwashing habits the Rufus way.

The Rufus handwashing programme has been developed with childcare professionals to teach children about good handwashing habits, emphasising the need to wash hands for at least 20 seconds and to dry them thoroughly.

We all have our role to play in keeping germs like Covid-19 at bay, and our Rufus handwashing programme has lots of class resources to help children learn the importance of regular and correct handwashing.

Teach these five steps to handwashing:

  1. Wash
  2. Soap
  3. Rub between fingers, thumbs and all parts of the hands for at least 20 seconds
  4. Rinse
  5. Dry

Read the story book

The Rufus story book uses colourful, fun illustrations and rhyme to teach children about the important times they should wash their hands. You can read the whiteboard version of the storybook or watch Clara read the storybook.

You can also download a PDF of the book in English or Irish.

Whiteboard story book

Whiteboard story in Irish


Get the story book

Rufus storybook thumbnail
Get the story book in English

Get the story book in Irish

Story time with RT√Čjr's Clara Murray

To help children memorise the five steps, sing the Rufus song with Clara.


Here’s a Rufus animation which reminds us of the five steps – wash, soap, rub, rinse and dry.

Colour in Rufus

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

black and white drawing of rufus for colouring in
Print out the Rufus colouring sheet


Colour in a sink poster 

Character Cut-Outs

Here’s some of the storybook characters to cut out and make into puppets to create new adventures for Rufus and friends

Character cut-outs Sheet 1 (3.5MB) | Character cut-outs Sheet 2 (2.5 MB)

Play the new Rufus game

Help your children learn the five steps by playing our new Rufus game. The game works best on desktop or tablet.

Launch the game

Related pages

Safefood logo

The site content is redirecting to the NI version.