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CASE STUDY: Using the Time Timer WASH, a visual handwashing timer, in a Preschool Setting


Educators are being tasked with keeping students and staff safe, while still maintaining their already heavy load of caregiving and educating.

This case study illustrates how one preschool used the Time Timer WASH, a visual timer for handwashing, to give their students the confidence and independence needed to properly wash their hands, so the teachers could continue doing what they do best – teaching.


Photo Courtesy of Mariemont Community Church Preschool
Photo Courtesy of
Mariemont Community Church Preschool

Case Study Summary

  1. Teach students of any age to wash hands properly and independently.
  2. Free up valuable time in the classroom by supporting efficient handwashing processes.
  3. Improve attendance and limit the spread of illness between students and teachers.

Mariemont Community Church Preschool (MCCP) is based in Mariemont, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. MCCP and Extended Elementary Day Program is a traditional preschool program with students ranging in age between 2 years and 5 years, and an Elementary Extended Day before/after school program supporting students up to sixth grade. Providing for up to 95 children at a time, the school maintains multiple classrooms, with a maximum of 18 students per class.

In an effort to keep students and teachers healthy as children returned to the classroom, MCCP implemented the Time Timer WASH into their school system during the second half of the 2020/2021 academic year. The Time Timer WASH is a visual handwashing timer that breaks the task of handwashing down into 3 simple steps, while counting down for 30 total seconds, ensuring both teachers and students scrubbed their hands with soap for the CDC recommended duration of 20 seconds.

This visual countdown timer displays a blue LED disk that disappears as the time elapses, making it ideal for young children and anyone that cannot read numbers. This disappearing disk also utilizes less cognitive energy than digital numbers or memorized songs when completing multiple tasks at once. The concept of a disappearing disk to show the passage of time, utilized in all Time Timer visual timers, has been proven to increase self-regulation in children ages 2-4 (Read the study here.)

MCCP placed Time Timer WASH timers in both their classrooms and some of their bathrooms. Teachers immediately began demonstrating the Time Timer WASH and educating on proper scrubbing techniques, in addition to explaining when to wash hands throughout the day (find a list in our FREE Handwashing Activity Guide, pg 29). Children of all ages quickly learned how to use the touchless timer. The teachers claimed,

“[The Time Timer WASH] really helps the children to understand the length of time they should be washing their hands.”
Photo Courtesy of Mariemont Community Church Preschool
Photo Courtesy of Mariemont Community Church Preschool
As shown in the picture, the Time Timer WASH gives students the ability to independently wash their hands. It empowers the students to self-regulate and be confident that they are washing their hands for the correct duration.

A small tool like the Time Timer WASH implemented in the beginning of the school year can create a lasting routine in the classroom through the entire school year.

According to Eva C. Phillips, Ed.D,

“Because young children do not yet have a good sense of the passage of time, it will be important for adults to ensure that the handwashing process is done correctly and can be navigated successfully. The Time Timer WASH is a product that can easily help to ensure that a young child goes through the appropriate process for effective handwashing, without needing an adult to monitor the amount of time they scrub.

MCCP teachers were not only able to educate their students on when and how to wash their hands properly, but because the students could do so independently, the teachers did not have to monitor every student at every step as they went through the line.

Adding habits that ensure safety in the classroom is essential, but it can also take away from valuable lesson time. To be able to implement an efficient handwashing process, and allow students to do so independently, MCCP created minimal disruption to their learning environment.

Since implementing the Time Timer WASH in their classroom and bathrooms, the teachers shared that this handwashing timer,

“...helps to ensure proper hand sanitation and safety to our classrooms during the Covid-19 Pandemic.”

However, the reach goes beyond the pandemic. The habits that have been implemented at MCCP can increase their overall attendance for both the students and teachers. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control),

Scrubbing hands for 20 seconds can increase attendance in school children and reduce the number of people in the general population who get sick up to 58%*

Photo Courtesy of Mariemont Community Church Preschool
Photo Courtesy of Mariemont Community Church Preschool

See The Time Timer WASH in Action with Time Timer President, Heather Rogers


Interested in supplying Time Timer WASH in your school or learning center?

Let us know your primary early learning supply partners and someone from our team will reach out to help you determine options for cost-effectively equipping your schools with the new Time Timer WASH.

Tell me more about the Time Timer WASH