Your little tot getting a hold of the sunblock and smearing it all over the mirror and himself is not the best sun safety practice, but it's a start. Toddlers and preschoolers are still very sensitive to the sun, and they should start learning about how to stay protected. Teaching them fun songs about sun safety is one way to instill this important life lesson.
There are several songs to sing with your little ones about putting on sunscreen. They might help with the lathering process if your child tends to resist. To the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," you can try "I Need Sunscreen Everyday." The lyrics are "I need sunscreen every day, before I go outside to play! Put it on my smiling face, ears and neck, yes that’s the place." Through the Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov) there is a program called Sunwise, which has a song called "The Sunscreen Dance." Some of the lyrics are "Sunscreen lotion, causin’ a commotion. Re-apply after you swim in the ocean -- we’re doin’ the Sunscreen dance."
Learning to keep that hat on while out in the sun can be a challenge, especially if it's on a toddler's head. Try this song to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat": "Sun, sun, sun is fun, when I wear my hat! It helps protect my face and eyes, I put mine on like that!" There is also "The Sun Safety Song," which you sing to the tune of Old MacDonald: "I am sun-safe all day long, Ee ii ee ii oo. I wear a hat to shade my face. Ee ii ee ii oo. With a floppy hat here, and a floppy hat there, here a hat, there a hat, everywhere a floppy hat, I am sun-safe all day long, Ee ii ee ii oo."
Staying in the Shade
The kids will do well to stay in the shade especially on those really hot days. This song, called "Shady Fun," will help enforce this. "I can ﬁnd a shady spot underneath a tree. We play beneath the branches, as happy as can be!" Also the song "This Smart Child" to the tune of "This Old Man" has a verse that goes, "This smart child, she played three, she found shade under a tree."
The Dangers of Too Much Sun
With the inevitable "Why?" questions on the way after all of the sun safety lessons, it's a good idea to have an answer. Sun Safety for Kids (sunsafetyforkids.org) puts out videos and songs that educate about sun safety. A song called "Too Much Sun" features the lyrics: "It makes you over easy, it makes you well done, don't be cooking up trouble with too much sun."