Dental health and teeth is a theme, to be honest, I was never too excited to try until now. Teacher everywhere LOVE this theme so I sat down and brainstormed. Now I’m pumped and excited because I came up with a ton of fun, engaging, and hands-on dental health themed activities. I mean look at that photo above! SO MUCH FUN, right? Make sure you grab the Tooth Graph and Tooth Art FREEBIES later in this post. Need My Body themed activities? Check out THIS POST.
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What better way to learn letters than to find them in toothpaste? I made “toothpaste” by covering the bottom of a tray with shaving cream, dripping liquid watercolor over the top, and swirling the liquid watercolor with a toothpick until it looked like toothpaste. Then I sprinkled letter beads over the top. Students use a toothbrush and tweezers to discover the letters. For more fine motor fun add a cup of liquid watercolor and a dropper for students to squirt the letters with.
You can find toothbrushes at the Dollar Tree and other fun dental health goodies!
To continue with the dental health theme, use a toothbrush instead of a paintbrush and brush the tooth. Mix white glue and shaving cream together to create a puffy paint type mixture. Students brush the tooth then sprinkle some glitter on the top to make it sparkly clean. The Dollar Tree has multi packs of toothbrushes if you need some.
For extra fun place, the tooth letters in a sensory tub with rice. One of those plastic shoebox size tubs would work.If your students are not ready for sight words have them build smile names! Name activities are always a hit in my classroom because they LOVE anything that has to do with their own name and their friend’s names.
You can also do a simple letter match too! Print two sets of uppercase letters and match uppercase letters or match uppercase with lowercase letters.
Teeth Letter Match! A simple letter match game with a dental health theme,
Build vocabulary words with letter tiles. The letter tiles kinda look like teeth so it’s the perfect letter manipulative to use for this theme.
Dental health books are a bit tricky to find (good ones anyway). I was able to find about 20 good ones and you can find a clickable book list HERE.
Tooth graph FREEBIE! Make a simple graph using teeth (aka mini marshmallows). Students identify the number and count out the corresponding number of marshmallows. After students can eat the marshmallows!
Number mats are my jam! I love them because it teaches students that numbers can be represented so many different ways (numeral, ten frame, random dots). You can use teeth mini erasers, mini marshmallows, or make small balls with white playdough. For a fun counting game play Cavity Number Cover. Students roll a die and cover the number by drawing a “cavity” on it with a dry erase marker. Then when the tooth is full of cavities (all the numbers are covered), students can brush the tooth clean using a toothbrush.
For fine motor work, trace lines with tooth mini erasers or mini marshmallows and “cavities” (aka pom poms). The manipulatives are small so it’s great exercise for those little fingers. This activity is simple to set to. Grab a piece of butcher paper or poster board and draw lines on it with a marker or paint stick.
If you want to take the activity to the next level, have students make patterns with the manipulatives!
For a fun twist on shaving cream writing, drop a few drops of liquid watercolor in shaving cream an swirl it to make it look like toothpaste! Students use their finger to draw shapes, numbers, or letters. Then brush it clean with a toothbrush!
Dental health play dough mats are a must for this theme! Use a few colors (they don’t have to match the cards if you don’t want to) and student roll played dough snakes to create each item. Yep, another way to build those fine motor muscles.
Teeth play dough tray! For every theme (yes every theme) I create a play dough try and it gets played with almost every single day in my classroom. Grab some teeth (tooth savers), cavities (yellow beads), caps (silver beads), floss (green plastic string), red or pink play dough, and white play dough.
Next time you are the at dentist ask if they would donate some to your classroom. Our dentist donated 10 larger colorful ones to our classroom after I had taken these photos. They also donated a dental health goodie bag for each of my kiddos.
Teeth sensory bin was so much fun to make and play in. My little guy played in it for AN ENTIRE HOUR when I was setting it up. Save a mouthwash bottle or just buy a few from the dollar store and dump out the mouthwash. Students can fill up the mouthwash (aka green, teal, and blue rice) using a funnel and tiny cups (plastic shot glasses). If you are brave spring some fine glitter in it and some teeth. The glitter sticks to the teeth and students can brush them clean with the toothbrushes.
Check our Dental Health science table! It’s packed with hands-on activities and posters from my My Body and Teeth Science unit. Use an egg carton for teeth. Students can place “cavities” (yellow play dough) and draw plaque with a dry erase marker. Then use a toothbrush and plastic string for floss to clean the teeth. Grab some food from dramatic play for students to sort…..healthy or not healthy.
Don’t forget about the blocks center! Place empty cereal boxes or empty food containers in the center for students to build with. Add veggie counter or fruit counters too! I unfold the boxes and keep them for the next year. You can also ask families to send in cereal boxes to students have the cereal they eat in the blocks center! Post photos of places in the community that promote healthy living to build.
Teach students about healthy eating and nutrition by transforming the dramatic play center! Students can practice making healthy food choices through PLAY! Click HERE to read all my tips and tricks to make your center into a Grocery Store.
I know some of us like to combine a My Body and Teeth theme together so I have ideas for that theme as well. For ideas on a My Body theme check out this post!
Want all the My Body printable centers? Grab the My Body & Teeth Math and Literacy Centers on TPT HERE.
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