"Cleanliness is next to godliness." 10
We expect God’s children (and this means adults too) to be clean in their thoughts, their bodies and in their clothes. ‘Abdu’l-Baha says, "External cleanliness, although it is but a physical thing, hath great influence upon spirituality." 11. We are encouraged to wear clean clothes and wash regularly. This helps to keep us healthy. It is nice to be near clean people, and we usually avoid those who are really dirty. By washing our hands after we use the toilet, and before we eat, we can stop ourselves getting many tummy problems like diarrhoea. Even if our hands look clean they can be carrying nasty little germs that can make us sick.
One day Kevin took his football outside and called to his friend, "Come and we can go and play with this ball down on the field." They played there happily for a long time. Then Kevin gave a big kick and the ball went high into the air and landed in a big puddle. This was a very dirty puddle because the water came from the rubbish dump. Kevin just went in and took up the ball and gave it a kick or two. Then because his hands were wet and dirty he wiped them on his trousers. Just then his friend said, "You know, I’m very hungry. I’m sure it is lunch time." "Yes," said Kevin. "I’m also very hungry. Let’s go home." He picked up his ball and off they ran. When Kevin got home he rushed into the kitchen. His mother said, "Gosh, where have you been? You are very late and we have already eaten, but I didn’t forget you and have put some sandwiches for you in this lunch box." Kevin grabbed the sandwiches and went outside to eat them. Then mother came outside. "Goodness you are dirty! Did you wash your hands before you ate your sandwiches?" "Oh, I forgot," said Kevin. During the night Kevin began to feel sick. He had a stomach ache and then he began to vomit. Oh, he was so sick! His mother tried to help him and by morning he was feeling a bit better, but weak. Mother said, "You know that I have told you again, and again how important it is to keep clean. I am sure you were sick because your hands were filthy when you ate your sandwiches yesterday. I hope that you have learnt a lesson. Wash your hands before you eat especially when you have been playing outside."
Here is an action song about cleaning ourselves, sung to the tune of "Here we go round the mulberry bush":-
This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands,
This is the way we wash our hands,
On a cold and frosty morning.
More verses . . .
This is the way we clean our teeth . . . .
This is the way we take a shower . . . .
This is the way we comb our hair . . . .
GROUP A (Youngest children)
A copy of the picture is needed for each child to colour.
GROUP B (Older children)
How many words can you make using the letters from the words "washing machine"? Write down the words washing machine, and below that write your list of words.
GROUP C (Oldest children)
Put these words about cleanliness, into alphabetical order:-
Cleanliness, purity, bath, laundry, shower, washing, dryer, vacuum cleaner, broom, dustpan, towel, spotless, soap, shampoo, detergent, toothbrush, disinfectant, sweep, toothpaste.


10. Quotation traditional.
11. Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p.581