Here’s a great lesson plan to do with preschoolers during Dental Health month (February). This is an excerpt from A to Z Toddler and Preschool Curriculum.
Theme: Terrific Teeth
- Scripture: …Suffer the little children to come unto me… Mark 10:14
- Tell the story of Jesus and the Children. Keep it simple. One day Jesus was teaching. A group of mothers wanted their children to meet Jesus. They brought the children to him, but the disciples said, “No.” Jesus saw what happened and told the disciples to let the children come to Him. He took the children up into his arms, laid His hands on them and blessed them.
- Sing: “Jesus Loves the Little Children”
- Intro. Teeth theme – What are teeth made of?
Teeth are made up of four main parts. On the outside is a protective layer of enamel – the hardest substance in the body. Below that is a bone-like substance called dentin, which makes up the largest part of the tooth. Underneath the dentin, the tooth actually has a soft center. This is called the pulp, and it houses all of the tooth’s blood vessels and nerve endings. Finally, the cementum covers the roots. Copied from http://www.aquafresh.com
- How can I take care of my teeth? Brush 2 times a day, floss your teeth, stay away from too many sugary foods, visit the dentist twice a year, drink milk, raw foods like apples help clean the teeth
- Colorful Stained Teeth-cut tooth shape from white construction paper; glue tooth to another full sheet of construction paper and cover entire page with clear contact paper; discuss with child that when you eat sweet things your teeth get dirty and need to be cleaned. Color part of tooth with water base purple marker to resemble grape jelly…color part of tooth with red marker to resemble red sucker..continue with other colors; have child clean tooth with damp rag; water base markers will clean easily (test before doing activity) Note: Each child will make one of these during Center Time
- How many teeth do I have? Preschoolers have 20..adults have 32. Discuss baby teeth versus permanent teeth. Explain that between the ages of 6 to 12, children lose their teeth and those are replaced with permanent ones.
- Say It: T says “t” like a ticking clock
- Play a Game: while you pretend to be asleep, have children pretend to be clocks and make the “t” ticking sound; have one child ring a bell to signify alarm clock ringing and then you “wake up”; repeat allowing everyone a chance to ring the bell
- Recognize It: Decorate Blank Letter T with torn bits of colorful paper
- Letter T box – fill empty wet wipes box with small items that begin with letter T (timer, toy turtle, tooth, top, telephone-old cell phone, etc.)
- Pulling Teeth game – cut a simple mouth shape from red construction paper; tape on white squares for teeth (note-roll the tape and add to back of tooth to attach to mouth); be sure there is one tooth for each child in the class; if child can say the “t” sound correctly when asked what T says, he had come up and “pull” one tooth out by taking it off the poster
- T is for Train Tracks – cut out two trips from brown construction paper; have child draw lines up and down and across so that each strip looks like a set of train tracks; Glue the strips to another piece of paper to look letter T
- T is for Toothbrush – cut toothbrush shape from construction paper; have child add pieces of yarn for the bristles; glue to another piece of construction paper; write T is for toothbrush at the bottom and have child circle the t’s
- Kangaroo Counting-give child an apron (like the kind at Home Stores used for holding tools); write numbers 1-10 on index card; have child hop to number try to tell what it is and put it in his pouch (apron)
- Bank-Use old can with lid (such as Pringles can) and cut slit in top to make a homemade bank; since coins are choking hazards, purchase larger Poker chips and let your child put these “coins” into the bank (a sure favorite great for fine motor skills)
- Counting Teeth-use mini marshmallows which look like teeth to count 1-10
- Repeat the Pattern – chomp teeth together __ times, clap __ times, tap fingers __ times, blink __ times, etc.)
- Number Flashcard Review – show various flashcards and instruct children that when they see number __ they should pretend to brush teeth; repeat with other numbers
- Crown Jewels-run through Burger King drive through and ask for a paper crown; have child glue diamond shaped craft jewels onto the crown; you could also cut crown shapes from colorful fun foam or construction paper
- Potato Print-cut potato in half and use knife to cut away a diamond shape; dip in paint and stamp
- Walk Around the Diamond – use blue painters tape to create a large diamond shape on the floor; children should line up and walk around the diamond shape
- Magnetic Color Practice-give child cookie sheet and magnetic letters; have him find color you call out and place on cookie sheet; magnets will stick on metal pan
- White Cotton Ball collecting-use kitchen tongs to move white cotton balls from one bucket to another
- Colorful Stained Teeth-cut tooth shape from white construction paper; glue tooth to another full sheet of construction paper and cover entire page with clear contact paper; discuss with child that when you eat sweet things your teeth get dirty and need to be cleaned. Color part of tooth with water base purple marker to resemble grape jelly…color part of tooth with red marker to resemble red sucker..continue with other colors; have child clean tooth with damp rag; water base markers will clean easily (test before doing activity)
- I Spy White – look around for things that are white in the room; let each child have a turn to spot something
- ToothFairy, ToothFairy, Who Has Your Tooth? (like Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone) one student sits in chair facing away from class, place paper tooth cutout under chair; point to one child who quietly sneaks up and takes tooth and hides in lap; the Tooth Fairy has 3 guesses to discover who took the tooth
- Alligator Teeth Painting-cut egg cartons in half and give each child row of 6 alligator teeth; use paint brush to paint the alligator’s teeth white (this only works with the cardboard type egg cartons versus the shiny type…have parents save in advance)
- Paint with toothbrush – provide toothbrushes to use as paintbrushes and let children paint on a white piece of paper
- Tooth Fairy Bag – cut two, C-shaped pieces of felt for each child; punch holes along the sides and let child use yarn to lace up around the shape; put knots in the ends; glue white felt tooth shape to the front of bag; make the loop large enough to hand on your child’s doorknob (Note: wrap tooth in a tissue before putting in bag, so it doesn’t drop through the bottom.)
- Baby Bottle Shakers-recycle those old, clear plastic baby bottles by filling with rice, beans, etc.; secure the top with masking tape for instant shakers; for added fun buy colorful Nerds candies and pour inside; these are fun to look at (can use baby food jar…just be careful about breakage) Explain that baby’s shouldn’t go to sleep with a baby bottle…it’s bad for their teeth.
- Train Follow the Leader – play music and have children make a train, one behind the other, moving all around the room; change train engine and caboose often so that everyone gets a turn
- Feed the Monster-draw a fun looking monster with teeth on large poster board and secure to back of kitchen chair; cut a large mouth into the board; give child pieces of paper that has been balled up and let him try to toss the monster food into the monster’s mouth
- Soda Bottle Bowling-discuss that soda isn’t good for teeth, but make a great game; use the empty bottles from a recycling center set up like bowling pins; use ball to try and knock down all the pins (Explain that soda is not good for your teeth.)
- Mini Marshmallows-look like teeth and make a great snack; add stick pretzel toothbrushes if you’d like (if there are no peanut allergies in your class, take an apple slice and spread with peanut butter and then top with mini marshmallow teeth and another slice of apple on top for a cute smile)
- Visit the dentist’s office
- Have a hygienist come in to speak with your homeschool group
- Watch show, “Arthur’s Tooth” (on PBS by author Marc Brown)