Sounds exciting...doesn't it?! Since February is National Dental Health Month I figured it was a great time to spend a week focusing on the importance of our teeth, and making it fun for the kids. Also, I am having a lot of guilt about not taking my kids to the dentist as often as I should so they have appts for next week and I think this will be a fun way to get them excited about it!
I found all of these ideas at different preschool websites and am then tweaking them to fit our needs. The first idea that I found was a really cute one, and a great memory game. On a tray, place items that promote good dental health, such as a toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, a container of dental floss, a small bottle of water, and a hand mirror. Also include a fresh fruit and a fresh vegetable, such as an apple and a carrot. Sit with your children around the tray and talk about how each item helps to keep teeth healthy. Then ask the children to close their eyes while you remove one of the items. When they open their eyes, have them try to guess which item is missing. Continue the game, each time rearranging the items on the tray and removing a different one. My kids LOVE playing memory games, so I am sure this one will be a hit!
I LOVE this next one....and not just because it involves Oreo's :) Give each of your children a couple of Oreo cookies. Have them eat them and let them look in the mirror at their teeth. Then discuss with them how plaque builds up on your teeth. Next give your children some fruit and have them look at their teeth again. Now tell your children how some foods are good for your teeth and how others are not. My kids do much better when thy have a good visual to go along with what I am teaching them.
I found this fun idea for a simple science experiment to do with the kids. Put several eggs into different liquids (cola, milk, orange juice, etc). Discuss with your children what they think will happen to the eggs in the different liquids. Leave the eggs in the liquids for a couple of days. When you take it out the kids can see what the liquids would do to their teeth.
A great craft idea was to make big teeth out of 20 oz bottles. Make large teeth with your children to help them learn to brush. It is really easy. Cut the bottom off of 20oz. or two litter bottles and cover them with white temper paint. I know my kids will at least have a good time getting messy :)
Finally I thought I would use a nice scare tactic to get them motivated to brush their teeth. Ever seen this treat before? We make them every year for Halloween, but I'm thinking it could be a great "this is what your teeth WILL look like if you don't brush" kind of teaching moment :)
Hope everyone has a great week and if you have any tips for taking kids to the dentist or enforcing good brushing habits...I would love to hear 'em!! :)