Thursday, May 16, 2013

Dental Health for Preschoolers Part 2

As we concluded our dental health unit, I felt quite happy with what we covered. This was a mere introduction for Adrian who is still, after all, only 4, so we didn't go through the parts of a tooth and things like that but I wanted to make the unit fun so he'd understand why we have teeth, why we need to take care of them and most of all...why dentists are around. After all, this dental health unit was part of our community worker/helper section. More helpers/workers will be covered of course but that may have to be in a different month... :)

Toothpaste Flavor Making Color Mixing
Toothpaste Flavor Factory - Color Mixing

After seing this on The Nature of Grace, I was sold. I had to "make my own"...even though Adrian is pretty good at color mixing and knowing what will make what. I considered it a "revision" lesson! :) Using some shaving cream and washable water-based paint, Adrian mixed colors to create "toothpaste flavors" in the "toothpaste factory". It was really fun. Adrian could have gone all day. Naming the flavors was fun too. Adrian's favorite to make was "chocolate" he said because it used lots of colors and because he loves chocolate! :)

Plaque Tray
Pratical Life / Fine Motor - Brushing Off Plaque

This was actually a lot harder than it looks. I printed some teeth templates, laminated them, cut them up and drew some "plaque" in red with a dry erase marker. Adrian had to remove the plaque with an old toothbrush he had. Applying the right pressure and making sure the plaque was all gone was quite strenuous.

Erasing Plaque Toothbrush
Adrian in Action

Dental Language Tray
Language - Sorting Teeth by Word Family

3Dinosaurs recently came up with a free package (yes, yet another!) about the Tooth Fairy. Now the tooth fairy thing has never been explained to Adrian and hopefully won't have to for a while (if ever...still debating) so I didn't bother getting into the details here. I really only wanted to use this one page from their package where Adrian would have to sort the teeth. We've been working hard at beginning sounds so providing all the letters and then choosing the word family was a huge surprise to him. Usually, he only looked at word families to get to know them so today he proceeded carefully in the matching and and did very well.

Happy Sad Tooth Foods
Happy Tooth versus Sad Tooth

I saw this activity on so many blogs and websites. I actually got the teeth from Pre-K Fun but decided to use real foods instead of the cut out foods provided with the teeth. I like using manipulatives and well, I thought it'd be nice for Adrian to sort with the foods he actually likes eating. Prior to sorting the foods, we discussed what makes teeth strong and healthy and how some foods stick to the teeth and how food in general can cause cavities, how to prevent them and how moderation is key when it comes to certain foods. Then, off he was sorting lollipops, chocolate, crackers, banana, tomato and yogurt.  He did well but was really hoping crackers would be on the "good side".  Can hardly blame him! :)

Toothbrush Paint Art
Spray painting with a toothbrush

I remember this technique being all the rage when I was in high school. We'd decorate anything from birdhouses to shelves using paint and toothbrushes. I thought I'd introduce Adrian to the technique since we so happened to have his old toothbrush on hand. :) He quickly understood he had to dip in the slightly thinned water-based paint and use his thumb to make a spraying motion towards the paper. Thankfully, it was a nice day out because paint still flies in unwanted areas during the learning process. If you do try this, I highly recommend being outside and wearing old clothes...and using washable paint! :) One last tip, putting less paint on the brush means less splatter on the paper and as such less undesired run offs.  

Toothbrush Spray Paint Art
Final result of the toothbrush Art!

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  1. Thanks so much for sharing. I plan on using these ideas within the next two weeks. Super excited!

  2. Glad to hear it! We should be discussing other helpers next year and more anatomy next year I expect. I saw you had lots of of it done already so I'm sure I'll hop by to see how you covered the themes so I can get inspired.

  3. We just studied teeth too and it looks like we came up with some very different activities. I love the flossing and replacing bad teeth activities you did last week too.

    1. Thank you. I checked out your blog too. Adrian will be older next year and might very well enjoy painting "enamel" onto teeth. Cool idea by the way! :)

  4. Thanks for sharing at the Virtual Fair. These activities are great! I will be sharing them on my FB page.

    1. Thank you so much Marnie! It's always a pleasure to be appreciated! :)

  5. What a fun unit on dental health!!

    I featured this at TGIF this week here - - Feel free to grab an I was featured button if you like.

    Thanks for sharing all your creativity with all of us! I hope to see you linked up again later today!!

    Have a great weekend,
    Beth =)

    1. Thank you Beth! Features as always appreciated and heart-warming! :)

  6. This was a brilliant unit. I would never have thought of it!

    1. Thank you Rebecca. I try to think outside the box so I come up with different ideas I guess. LOL