E.coli is a nasty bacteria which can make young children seriously ill as their immune system is not yet strong enough to fight off infection. Teaching good handwashing habits is the best way to keep E.coli at bay!

We’ve developed the Rufus handwashing programme to help you teach your children good handwashing habits. This is particularly important before eating, after using the toilet, after playing outside and after touching animals.

How to use these resources.



The storybook helps teach children the key times to wash their hands. There's also a song they can sing to help them remember the five steps to handwashing.

Storybook PDF (22MB) 


Sink poster

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

Sink poster PDF (1.5MB)

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!


Postear Nigh do lamha

An pĆ³staer as Gaeilge (PDF 2.5MB)

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


Colouring sheets

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

Poster (PDF 380KB) | Rufus (PDF 770KB)


More videos

How to wash your hands - the 5 steps

When to wash your hands


Order your resource pack

Fill in the form below if you would like us to send you a Rufus storybook and sink poster. We will only send to residents of the island of Ireland.

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