Get your preschoolers excited about taking care of their teeth! Here are some fun activities young children will love!
Put one of those mismatched socks to good use by creating a friendly sock puppet. Use colored felt, buttons, thread, felt markers and anything else fun to decorate your puppet. If you don’t mind the mess, let the children create their own puppets! Use the puppets to demonstrate how to brush and floss properly. Use a shoe box to make a home for the puppet and use him later for other lessons!
Visit a Dental Office
Make arrangements to take the class on a visit to a dental office. If you aren’t able to arrange a trip, ask a dentist or dental hygienist to visit your class. They can bring samples of items used in the dentist’s office and explain what happens when kids visit the dentist. Follow up by asking the children to draw something they saw during the trip or presentation. Their pictures can be sent to the dentist or dental hygienist as a thank you.
What Do You See?
Have each child was their hands with soap and water. Give children a small unbreakable mirror or have them stand in front of a large mirror. Have children identify each part of their face and mouth and what each part does. Here are some other questions you may want to ask as they look at and feel the parts of their mouth:
- What do you see in the mirror when you smile?
- What do your lips (and teeth) feel like?
- Are your teeth wet or dry?
- Are parts of your teeth rough or bumpy?
- Are parts of your teeth smooth?
- Are your teeth hard or soft?
- Are there any spaces between your teeth?
- Where is the top (and bottom) of your mouth?
- What’s at the bottom of your mouth?
- What is at the side of your mouth?
Take a picture of each child smiling, have them bring in a picture of themselves smiling, or have them draw pictures of themselves smiling. Display the pictures on the bulletin board. Encourage children to name the bulletin board and post the title. You may also give the children old magazines and have them tear or cut out pictures of people smiling.
Have the children sit in a circle. The child who is “IT” smiles a big smile (everyone else must be serious). “IT” looks at one child, wipes off the smile with his/her hand and throws it to another child. The child receiving the smile then becomes “IT.” If anyone smiles at “IT” or at the one receiving the smile, he or she is out. The children who are out form a circle outside the ones who are still in.
Have the children act out the following “Keeping Clean” activities:
- washing hair;
- washing hands;
- washing face;
- brushing teeth;
- washing feet;
- taking a bath;
- washing arms;
- washing legs;
- washing ears;
- washing neck;
- taking a shower; and
- washing tummy
Have each child decorate a shoe box. The decorated shoe box can be kept in the child’s desk or locker. Give children a toothbrush labeled with their name. Show the class how to brush correctly and have them practice for a few days using only water. Supervise closely and encourage children for their good work. After you have seen that children are brushing correctly, give them a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Make sure children do not swallow the toothpaste. This is a good activity to follow snack time. Have each child store his or her toothbrush in the shoe box they decorated.