Big Kid Skill #2: Going to the washroom at school

This post is the second post for our Top 3 “Big Kid Skills” to learn before Kindergarten series.


Kids love this book, don’t they?

We all know everyone poops. (Hopefully, in the toilet!)

So how do we get our kids to manage when poop happens at school?

Practise, practise, practise!

  • Practise wiping themselves with toilet paper! I struggle with this one for the sake of cleanliness, but they need to start somewhere. A good way to start is to have your child do the last wipe, then the last two wipes, etc. Remember to teach little girls to wipe out towards their back. There won’t be any baby wipes in the washrooms at school – get your child used to old fashioned toilet paper. Besides, baby wipes should not be flushed down the toilet (even so-called “flushable” ones).
  • Practise washing hands after!!!! With soap and water. Make this non-negotiable! Germs LOVE Kindergarten classrooms. Your little one will be bringing home enough germs as it is!

Don’t forget to:

Prepare for an Accident

What’s causing me the most anxiety about my Pumpkin starting Kindergarten is picturing my little girl crying, pants wet and unable to figure out how to clean herself up. Teaching staff do not provide toileting assistance; if she cannot clean herself and get changed, the school will phone us to come help her or take her home.

So I imagine her crying in her wet clothes for a half an hour before we can swoop in and rescue her. And now I want to cry.

Pumpkin hasn’t had an accident in ages but when she has, it was related to a huge change in routine, new care providers or just plain having too much fun.

So now we need to practise cleaning up from an accident! Okay, we can do this!

This weekend, I’m going to run a practise session. I will ask Pumpkin to get herself dressed in pants and t-shirt and convince her to go run in the sprinkler. Then I’ll ask her to change her own clothes in the washroom, teaching her these steps:

Pumpkin's zip bag with change of clothes

Pumpkin’s zip bag with change of clothes

  1. Take off dirty or wet clothes
  2. Wipe self with toilet paper
  3. Open zip-bag of clean clothes (your school will likely ask you send a change of clothes in a large zip-bag)
  4. Put on clean clothes
  5. Put dirty or wet clothes into zip-bag and close bag.
  6. Wash hands with soap and water.

We’ve been doing a lot of talking lately about how she will need to do things for herself in Kindergarten, so I’ll be sure to talk about how this experience with the sprinkler is not much different than if she has an accident at school.

Check out the final post in the Top 3 “Big Kid Skills” to learn before Kindergarten series, “Big Kid Skill #3: The ins and outs of backpacks and lunchboxes.”

Do you have any other tips for teaching your child washroom hygiene? Please share with us:

For parenting information or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Andrea Scott RN

I’m a public health nurse with the HaltonParents team – you'll find me on Facebook, Twitter and on this blog, writing about all things parenting. I’ve been working for the Halton Region Health Department since 2006 and my focus has been on supporting parents with babies and little kids. I have two little ones myself, “Pumpkin” and “Monkey” who give me plenty to write about! :)
This entry was posted in Keeping Your Toddler & Preschooler Safe, Parenting, Parenting Your Toddler & Preschooler, Play, Growth & Development, Preparing for Kindergarten, Toddlers & Preschoolers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Big Kid Skill #2: Going to the washroom at school

  1. Pingback: Top 3 “Big Kid Skills” to learn before Kindergarten | HaltonParents

  2. Pingback: Big Kid Skill #3 – The ins and outs of backpacks and lunchboxes | HaltonParents

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