Taking Care of Yourself


  • To follow multi-step directions
  • To connect language development and heath/science
  • To build vocabulary

Props like a toothbrush, glass, wash cloth, and comb, or a healthful snack such as an apple (optional)

wash brush comb rinse eat

Literature Suggestion
Read The Father Who Had 10 Children by Benedicte Guettier, or any other book about healthy habits.


  • Read the book and talk about ways the characters took care of themselves and stayed healthy.
  • Discuss other healthy habits, such as eating good food, washing hands, and exercising.
  • Talk about the steps involved in brushing teeth (put toothpaste on brush, brush up and down and all around, rinse out mouth, rinse toothbrush). Ask children if they can name and act out some steps in the following actions:
    • Washing hands (wet hands, add soap, scrub, rinse)
    • Eating fruit (wash hands, wash fruit, eat)
  • Seat children in a circle and tell them that you will ask them to follow directions to pretend to do some things that will keep them healthy. Explain that they are to act out the actions you say.
  • Then go around the circle and ask each child to follow two-step and three-step directions. Examples: Please wash your face and comb your hair. Wash an apple and eat it. Drink a glass of milk, put the glass in the sink, and wash your hands.

Play a circle game called "Be Healthy."

  • Children sit in a circle.
  • The child who starts asks the child next to him or her to do two things.
  • Example: Anika, please wash your hands; then wash your face.
  • After Anika does her actions, she asks the child next to her to do two things.
  • Go all around the circle. Then, progress to three-step directions.

Observation Assessment

  • Proficient - Child can easily follow the multi-step directions.
  • In Process - Child participates, but has difficulty following more than one-step directions.
  • Not Yet Ready - Child does not yet listen and follow directions.

Excerpted from School Readiness Activity Cards. The Preschool Activity Cards provide engaging and purposeful experiences that develop language, literacy, and math skills for preschool children.

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