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lunch time craziness!


Senior Member
ok, so the way it works, or I should say happens now (because it certainly is not working) is crazy. At 10:45 I stop what we are doing and have children start washing their hands. It takes all of them FOREVER to wash their hands!! what should I do with the rest of the children while I am sending them to the bathroom one at a time? (its in my room) Is there a way I can make this time go by faster?? I feel like I'm loosing out on valuable learning time (one of my guys is a 1/2 day person so I have from 8:15-11:00 to get everything in!!)

I want to do hand sanitizer, but i think that might show them I want them to be lazy about hand washing :( any ideas/help?????

Georgia Girl

Full Member
Here's what I did...

When I had a 3rd grade class, I would read to them while they took turns using the restroom. They knew not to dawdle or they'd miss part of the story. That worked for me.

You might try little games that would be fun, yet educational, and could be easily joined when a student returned. Maybe acting out rhymes, Around the World with colors, shapes, numbers, etc. OR singing songs about washing hands, etc. (I saw some on a website somewhere.)

Maybe this is of some help! Good luck!


Full Member

I also have a restroom in my classroom, but when all the children need to be somewhere at a given time, we use the restroom in the hallway. It takes 5 minutes once the routines are established. Are you able to use the other restrooms in your building? I would think that if you explain that you are doing it to save instructional time, others would be more understanding of the situation.


Full Member

My bathroom is located in my room and for the most part, I love it! We had workshop prior to lunch so the children went to the restroom then. I have also used this as read aloud time and I Spy time. You have to let them know that they have a time limit. For my 'slow movers' I have them to go last or I take them to the hallway bathrooms so they can go at the same time. They get tired of being the last of the class to enter the cafeteria and learn to speed it up.


Senior Member
I would

do hand sanitizer or baby wipes. Maybe you can send a letter out asking for donations. At my school, we have a hand sanitizer machine with the foam soap. It is great. Ask your principal for one to be placed in the front of the lunch line.


Senior Member
before lunch procedure

We start a restroom break about 20-30 minutes before lunch. I'm usually on the rug reading or doing something with the kids and my parapro sends them one at a time to the restroom in our room.

Sanitizer is the way to go. If they've already done a restroom break, then you just go down the line with the sanitizer bottle before you head out the door (or you can take it with you and give them each a dot as they get to the lunchroom). It's not lazy at all-it's efficient! :D


Full Member

I have taught K for 12 years and actually never made them wash their hands before lunch. I just handed them all a baby wipe and they threw it in the trash as they walked out the door. We would ask parents to donate them. You could even cut them in half with a scissors since their hands are so tiny.


Senior Member

I have a TON of baby wipes, and I didnt even think of that! I'll just make sure they wash their hands after they go to the restroom, and we'll do baby wipes :) I knew you guys would have the answers!!! thanks:D


Senior Member
Even with a RR break before lunch, I use hand sanitizer before they go in the cafeteria door. We also use it as we enter the computer lab.


Senior Member

Oooh! The computer lab! That's a germy place that hadn't occurred to me! Thanks!


Senior Member
hand sanitizer

I agree with the other posters about using the hand sanitizers. You can use other times in the day to develop their handwashing philosophy. That few minutes getting ready for lunch is a killerLOL. We have the sanitizer on our wall and on the way out the children get a squirt. During the day I have them use the sink when possible and stress washing hands. They know when using the bathroom they need to use the sink and wash good!


Senior Member
We use hand sanitizer as well. The students line up. I assign a "squirter" for the week. I have to teach them how to properly use the hand sanitizer. The squirter might give children too much, or the students don't rub their hands enough (wiping the extra on their pants!). I love having a student doing the work for me. I'm always in a rush to get other things done - helping with backpacks, tying shoes, talking with parents, handing out papers. The less I have to do, the better!


Junior Member

When I was teaching in St. Louis I was using Hand Sanitizer and got in trouble with the Health Dept. They said that we had to use running water. You might want to check with your Health Dept.


New Member
I use...

hand sanitizer or baby wipes, whatever is quick and easy. I don't have a bathroom in my classroom, so sometimes you have to go with convenience. You can still stress the importance of washing your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, if your hands are covered with paint/ink/dirt, etc.