CHALLENGE OF THE WEEK, MONTH, YEAR
You will find three visual tools within the club which will make children aware of the importance of dental health. There is also a poster which may be used to inform parents their child needs a new toothbrush (Open the following three posters: New Toothbrush - Toothbrushing Poster - Toothbrushing Chart) The challenge of the week is to use the toothbrushing chart. Every time children brush their teeth adequately, they may add a symbol. Invite parents to become members of the Educatall Club to benefit from the same motivational tools for their children.
This week, we will discuss dental health. What better assistant could we possibly have than the tooth fairy herself? We suggests an imaginary game you may play with your group. (Open game - Tooth fairy letter) Print the letter. Prepare a special envelope. Place the envelope in an easy to find place in the daycare. During circle time, have the children find the letter and read portions of it to them each day.
Transform the relaxation corner into a dentist's office. Remember to place chairs in the waiting room along with toys. For the examination room, use a long lawn chair or two chairs placed close together for children to lie back on. One at a time, children play the role of the dentist. Suggestions for your thematic bin are: toothbrush, dental floss, empty mouthwash bottles, paper masks, mirrors, white shirts, paper bibs or towels, empty toothpaste tubes, plastic gloves, tiny light or flashlight, eyedropper, empty medicine bottles, pillows, dolls, notebooks, glasses, tray for tools, syringes without needles, dental health posters, etc. Prepare a collective chart with the group. Photograph each child's smile and have them guess which smiles belong to each child.
The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner.(Open picture game - dental health) Print, laminate, and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in your thematic bins.
Activity sheets are suggested for each theme. Print and follow instructions. (Open activity sheets - dental health)
Have fun with these great workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.
Construction or building blocks:
- Pieces of aluminum paper to resemble tooth fillings
- This is the perfect time to use items used less often even if they don't necessarily apply to the theme. Ask the group what they would like to play with in this area.
Arts & Crafts:
- Spray paint using old toothbrushes on a large piece of white paper. With or without stencils, the results are beautiful!
- Paint with different colors (flavours) of toothpaste. It produces a shiny effect once dry and it smells delicious!
- Pieces of aluminum paper for a tooth filling craft
- Use evaporated milk to paint pictures of teeth. When they dry, they will have a sparkling finish
- Teeth and/or smile coloring pages
- Teeth shapes which can be covered with gum (‘Chiclets' or other kind)
- Have a friend draw your mouth just like an x-ray
- Set up a dentist's office in the role play area. Hang a "Dr. White Smile" sign on the door or wall along with different sizes and shapes of teeth. A long lawn chair, a flashlight, and a few pictures will do the trick. You can also add gloves, masks, and a white smock (shirt). Take a chance and ask your dentist for a few posters and x-rays. Include accessories such as empty mouthwash bottles, mirrors, towels, eyedroppers, empty medicine bottles, syringes without needles, signs, etc.
- Purchase a few Mr. Mouths (moving jaws) and leave them in this corner along with toothbrushes. Add a few dolls and children will practice their brushing techniques.
- Decorate the wall with pictures of children's mouths wide open to show their teeth (just like at the dentist's office). They will love seeing their mouths and showing them to others...I've tried it!
- Include a waiting room if you have enough available space
- Tooth memory game using Educatall pictures
- Association game using pictures of food which is good/bad for dental health
- The Mr. Mouths may be used here too...for manipulation
- Place toothpaste in a "Ziploc" bag. Allow children to manipulate the unique texture
- Classification game using animals with and without teeth
- Toothpaste modeling dough or white modeling dough
- A box filled with toothbrushes of every size and color
- Books about teeth, dentists...My group particularly enjoyed Show me your smile (Dora)
- Books about fairie
- Teeth which can be traced
- Various activity sheets related to teeth
- Game with Educatall word flashcard
- A simple game involving movement invented on the spur of the moment...the tooth piercing the gum (ouch!), the tooth growing, the tooth wiggling, the tooth falling out, etc...With four and five year olds, use the activity to explain what they will experience soon....losing their baby teeth!
- Stand tall like the bristles of a new toothbrush or crouch down to represent the bristles of an old toothbrush.
- To the sink....brush your teeth!
- Rinse your mouth. Oh what fun it is to spit!
- Wash toys with toothbrushe
Select a child to play the role of a dental hygienist to inspect the teeth of his peers after brushing
The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards-dental health) Tooth, dentist, filling, chair, smile, toothpaste, dental floss, toothbrush, mirror, light, cavity, denture
Fill a box with a variety of toothbrushes. Children will enjoy inventing stories using the brushes.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND MOTOR SKILLS
(Open sparkling smile game) Print and laminate. Hide the pictures of healthy teeth and decayed teeth throughout the daycare. Glue the mouth onto a piece of cardboard and hold it. You are the dentist. Place a large chair beside you. Children search for the healthy teeth and place them inside the mouth. Be careful! If they bring a decayed tooth, they must sit in the dentist's chair for one minute. The object of the game is to collect all the healthy teeth to have a beautiful sparkling smile.
The tooth fairy
(Open PDF teeth) Print and laminate. Place tiny pictures of teeth throughout the daycare. When you give the signal, children become tooth fairies and search for teeth. There is no winner, the object of the game is to have fun. At the end of the game, give each child a tooth to bring home.
Provide each child with a long piece of dental floss. They move about the daycare sliding the floss between toys.
Children practice their brushing technique while cleaning toys.
In need of a filling
Leave different sized pieces of aluminum paper in your construction area. Children can use them to make fillings over toys.
Have children observe their teeth with mirrors and small flashlights before lunch. Repeat the exercise after lunch. Once they have noticed the food on their teeth, it is time for brushing.
Stand single file to represent germs stuck on dental floss. Move about, following the leader.
Ask children "Who wants to be the germ?" The other children are teeth. The "germ" tries to touch the teeth. When he does, the teeth must sit down, they have cavities. The game continues until all the teeth have cavities. Choose another child to play the role of the germ.
(Open PDF teeth) Print, laminate, and cut out. On a large piece of cardboard, draw a face with a big open mouth. Give each child one laminated tooth. One at a time, blindfold children and have them attempt to place their tooth as close to the mouth as possible.
Cleaning with toothbrushes
Use your water table (or a bin filled with water) and toothbrushes. Have children clean toys with the brushes.
String various objects onto dental floss.
Dentist in training
Place miniature marshmallows in an empty Kleenex box. Include one marshmallow with small black spots (cavity). Children insert tongs through the opening and pull out marshmallows, one at a time. The game ends when the tooth with the cavity is removed. Put the marshmallows back in the box and start over.
Hippopotamus at the dentist's office
On a large piece of cardboard, draw a hippopotamus' open mouth. Deposit miniature marshmallows around the contour of its mouth. A few marshmallows should be black underneath. Using clean clothespins, children take turns removing teeth to find the cavities. Variation: When a cavity is found, children put a tooth back in its place.
Tooth or toothpaste
Fill an empty pillowcase with objects related to teeth (empty tube of toothpaste, empty mouthwash bottle, toothbrush, etc.) Children feel the objects and try to guess what they are.
Use napkins to make masks like the ones dentists use. Fold them in two and punch a hole on either side. Attach a string. Children may use them for role play.
A hole in a tooth
Cut the tooth out of white cardboard (Open tooth with holes). Perforate the contour using a hole-punch. Thread dental floss or ribbon through the holes.
Trace teeth with sidewalk chalk.
Outline a large mouth in the sandbox. Have children make sand teeth with various sizes of containers to fill the mouth.
Baby teeth, permanent teeth
(Open PDF teeth) Use different sizes of teeth. Children sort them form smallest to largest.
The missing tooth
Children stand in a circle to represent a mouth. Have them close their eyes and choose a child to be the missing tooth. Have this child sit in the center of the circle and cover him with a blanket. Instruct children to open their eyes and try to guess who the missing tooth is.
Good for our teeth
Cut various food items from grocery flyers. Hang two mouths on the wall, one with healthy white teeth, and one with decayed teeth. Children associate the food items which are good for our teeth to the white smile and the sweets to the mouth with decayed teeth.
SOCIAL AND MORAL ACTIVITIES
My gorgeous smile
Take pictures of children's smiles and hang them on the wall. Make a game of it: cut out only the smiles and try to guess who the smiles belong to.
Invite a dental hygienist or better yet, a dentist to visit the daycare. You may know someone or your local clinic may provide references.
Smell a variety of toothpastes.
Soak hardboiled eggs overnight in tea or brown soda. They will turn brown. Brush the eggs with toothpaste. Discuss the results.
Draw the shape of a tooth onto cardboard or print and glue the picture to the cardboard (Open PDF teeth). Melt marshmallows in the microwave for 30 seconds and give each child a chance to stir. Next, melt for 10 more seconds. Place the melted marshmallows in the center of the table. Using popsicle sticks, children spread the preparation onto the cardboard tooth.
4 teaspoons of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of your favourite extract flavour (vanilla, almond, strawberry, mint, etc.)
Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.
ARTS & CRAFTS
Cut and smile
Cut smiles out of magazines and prepare a collective collage.
Draw teeth on a black piece of construction paper using white chalk.
Cut teeth out of yellow construction paper and glue them on white paper. Paint the teeth using a paintbrush and white tempera paint.
Provide children with old toothbrushes and different colors of toothpaste. Children explore painting with toothbrushes. This activity can be messy, it may be good idea to lay down plastic tablecloths before you begin.
(Open PDF sparkling smile) Cut tiny pieces of aluminum paper. Glue the fillings on the teeth.
Make dental impressions by having children gently bite (under your supervision) Styrofoam plates. Observe the differences between the children's impressions.
(Open coloring pages theme - Dental health)
SONGS & RHYMES
Do you know?
Sung to: The Muffin Man
By: Patricia Morrison
Oh, do you know to brush your teeth
To brush your teeth, to brush your teeth
Oh do you know to brush your teeth
At least two times a day
Oh, yes I know to brush my teeth
To brush my teeth, to brush my teeth
Oh, yes I know to brush my teeth
Every morning and night
The Educatall team