Before J’s first trip to the dentist, we did a quick unit on teeth. We talked about why to brush/floss, how to, especially bad foods, etc. Here’s an activiity we did that turned out pretty fun and useful.
You’ll Need: At least one teeth photo (laminated), toothbrush, water, various foods (the stickyer the better!)
I laminated a few teeth photos (found on GoogleImages). Then J
fed the photos some good and not so good foods. We took note of how each food effected the teeth (ex, icing got stuck all over the teeth). Of course I let him try some of the foods too, as evidence shows in the photo! It did give him some real experience with how the foods felt in his mouth and helped him better describe the feeling.
Then we practiced brushing the gunk away. It was a good way to get him to see the purpose of brushing. We talked about where to brush (front, back, top, sides,…) and how to brush and practiced the strokes. After our fake teeth were clean, we headed upstairs to brush some real teeth.
We’ll probably do more practicing like this as he gets older. This was a fun way to teach and practice a very important part of life.
We started a new tooth brushing song during this activity. I got tired of our normal brushing song (This is the way we brush our teeth… like the mulberry song) and decided we needed a change. J thinks our new brushing song is fun. I sing to the tune of “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right Outta My Hair”… and just change the words to… I’m gonna brush that cheese right off of my teeth, I’m gonna brush those blueberries right off those back teeth… filling in whatever he just ate and wherever I’m brushing in his mouth. He likes to remind me all the different foods I have to brush off. A year later and he still loves to sing this song!
Age attempted: 2.5 years
This activity came about on the fly while removing the Tape Shapes from the kitchen floor. We had enjoyed them for a week, but the novelty had worn off so they needed a break. As we were removing the painters tape, I inadvertently stuck some on J’s shoulder and of course he pulled it off. I decided this could become a great way to reinforce body parts.
I covered him with little pieces of tape, all placed on specific body parts, many that he could not see. As he started removing the easy ones, I would tell him “I see some tape on your elbow!” or “I see some tape on your calf!” It worked really well. It was a great refresher activity.
I also took a turn by placing the tape all over me and asking him to help me get it off by telling me where the tape was. He enjoyed trying to instruct mommy, “Nose! Nose!” or “Back, Back!”. All the while, I’m playing clueless so he could help “teach” me.
This same activity could be done with stickers.
Age attempted? 22 months, could be done much earlier, even when you first start teaching body parts
Try Again? yes, it requires no set up; this could also be a great plane activity