More Dental Health Lessons

December 3, 2010
photo © 2010 Mike Willis | more info (via: Wylio)

If you still don't have enough “toothy” activities to close out children's dental health month, here are a few more of our favorites from Sarah at Child Care Lounge.

Toothbrush Art

Provide students with a tooth cutout, a toothbrush, and some toothpaste (or paint) and have them explore painting a different way. Invite them to try making unique texture prints with their brushes and discuss how painting with toothpaste (a thicker, gel-like substance) differs from regular paint.

Considerations:

  • For a messy variation, thin out the toothpaste or paint and invite students to “splatter paint” by running their fingers over the bristles of a toothbrush that's aimed at the cutout.
  • Purchase various 'types' of toothbrushes (i.e. different bristle strengths, designs, etc.) for creating unique designs that can later be compared. For example, a softer brush may fan out more to create a feathered look, while harder bristles will create more rigid, wire-like marks. Toothbrushes that have gum cleaners, cross section brushes, deep clean tips, etc. will provide a menagerie of interesting markings.

Gross Motor Toothbrush Game

Sarah suggests testing students' gross motor skills with a simple game. Collect several empty water bottles, pour several inches of sand in the bottom of each to weigh them down, and set them up like bowling pins. Tape off a line two feet from the bottles, inviting your students to drop a toothbrush into the opening of each bottle while keeping their feet behind the line and only bending at the waist. [NOTE: Arms may be extended to reach above the bottles, but should go no lower than waist high.] Another option for the game, as recommended by Sarah, is to have students lean over the back of a chair when dropping the toothbrushes.

Toothpaste Math

Have your students vote of their dental health favorites/habits:

  • Favorite toothpaste flavor – bubble gum, cotton candy, or mint?
  • Favorite color toothbrush – pink, red, blue, or green?
  • I squeeze the toothpaste tube – in the middle or at the end?

Create graphs of these questions and discuss the results as a class.


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