Use National Craft Month as an opportunity to enforce good dental hygiene in ways kids love! From animal puppets to water play, counting to contests, here are three ways to get kids comfortable with key Dental Supplies. You’ll help keep them healthy for years to come when you incorporate these activities at community events and visits to your local schools. Plus, you’ll gain recognition and referrals for being the practice who cares about pediatric dental health.
Inviting kids’ favorite animals into dental hygiene lessons increases the chances that they’ll stay engaged. And who better than a tooth-y hippo to serve as your demo puppet? As posted on kidssoup.com, create a hippo face template with construction paper, and then fold a mouth-shaped paper of the same color to sit below the nose. Then, place a red or pink sheet of paper within the mouth shape, cutting it to leave “lips” exposed, and paste onto the mouth shape. Cut an additional red or pink flap for the tongue. Fold the mouth in half once layers are dry and glue on the mouth face. Make several demo puppets to replace worn and torn ones.
Here’s the fun part: Keep a bag of mini marshmallows on hand for kids to glue into the the hippos’ mouths as “teeth.” Have them gently brush and floss the teeth, and consider this rhyme to help enforce your teachings. This handy song can be used with any brushing activity.
(Tune:”Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”)
Original Author Unknown
Here’s my toothpaste
Here’s my brush
I won’t hurry, I won’t rush.
Working hard to keep teeth clean
Front and back and in between
When I brush for quite a while
I will have a happy smile.
Kindergarten Lesson Plans
Enforce counting skills and dental hygiene all at once with “Counting Hippopotamus Teeth!,” a game devised by educator, Beth Moore. Simply cut red or pink sheets of paper into mouth shapes, and border them with circles as place holders for mini marshmallow “teeth.” Supply each child with a handful of marshmallows and large, numbered die. Have kids take turns rolling the die and putting the corresponding number of teeth into the hippo mouths. The kid with the most teeth in their hippo’s mouth by the end wins! And if you’re looking for prizes, consider Dental Stickers, Sugar-Free Lollipops, or other small Toys.
Tooth Brushing Dental Supplies Station
Using trays of water or a sink, provide each child with a tube of Toothpaste, Floss, a cup, and half a white egg carton to represent teeth. Experiment with dirtying “teeth” with watercolor, play dough, or pieces of food, which you then instruct children to remove with their Dental Supplies. Kids love water play, and this dental hygiene game is about as close to real life brushing and flossing as you can get.
As these three tips show, dental hygiene can be far from boring with the right tools! Don’t forget to teach parents to use them to help establish good dental health habits that last a lifetime. What pediatric dental care activities work for your patients? Share in the comments!