This week’s theme for #playfulpreschool is all about healthy kids, exercising, healthy eating and healthy habits. Like always, we’re bringing learning, creativity and skills development in with themed ideas for preschoolers on the weekly topic.
Teeth brushing is big in our house at the moment. For Christmas my kids got the amazing Dr. Fresh Kids Firefly Lightup Timer Toothbrush [affiliate link] a lightup, timed toothbrush that goes for 1 minute. Before using it, we talked about why we need to brush our teeth, removing the plaque from our teeth, and the importance of keeping them clean and brushing them properly.
As teeth now feature heavily in our daily routine, this week our activity for the playful preschool is teeth and plaque removal, using a fun Letter Match Tooth Cleaning Game to learn some letters. T (3 and 3/4’s) is starting to recognize and identify letters and the sounds that they make, so this was a perfect time to introduce some letters and letter sounds.
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- Review why we clean our teeth
- Recognise and match letters
- Say letter names and sounds
Start with a piece of white felt. I went for a large piece as wanted to fit the whole alphabet on the tooth. If you want to focus on smaller sets of letters or sight words, or create a busy bag for the tooth activity you can make the tooth any size you want.
Using a picture from google images of an outline of a tooth, I drew it onto the white felt and then cut it out.
Preparing the letters, I cut up a sheet of vellum into small squares and wrote the letters of the alphabet on them with a Sharpie marker.
Onto the back on the letters I stuck one half of the velcro dot. Because I was using felt, I only needed one half of the dot. If you are using paper to create the tooth then you could place one half of the velcro dot onto the paper and the other onto the vellum.
On a separate piece of paper, I wrote out the alphabet in order all in lower case.
I then attached the letters in random order onto the tooth.
T insisted on a toothbrush to remove the plaque from the teeth so I quickly cut one out of white and red card (to match her own toothbrush!).
Letter learning teeth cleaning:
Sitting down, we looked at the alphabet, and she pointed out the letters that she knew on the alphabet sheet. We tend to play a game called “That’s In My Name” a lot; when she spots a word that has a letter in her name she will point it out with “That’s in my name”.
She then chose a letter. I said the letter name and the sound that it makes, and then we thought of words that we know that start with that letter. Most of the words that T thought of were animals (thanks to her ABC Animal Jamboree [affiliate link] book).
She then found the letter on the tooth, and removed it.
With the letter found she matched it over top of the letter on the alphabet sheet and then carried onto the next letter.
Once all of the letters were covered we sang the ABC song and reviewed the letters, plus she picked out the letters in her name.
I have used this activity now with my older child who is learning sight words. Using slightly larger pieces of vellum to mimic the plaque, he was able to remove the sight words as I called them out.
We’ve also used it with numbers with both children – working on counting and number recognition with T and with J working on addition and subtraction using plain plaque squares with velcro on.
Healthy Kids #playfulpreschool
Check out this week’s Healthy Kids playful preschool posts to find other great, creative and fun learning ideas for your preschooler. Whether you are a class teacher, complementing the learning done in preschool at home, or homeschooling a preschooler, there are plenty of ideas for you to share and do.
Letter Match Tooth Cleaning Game by Rainy Day Mum
Brushing Teeth Song by Growing Book by Book
Elephants Toothpaste by Learning 2 Walk
Nutrition: Sorting and Categorizing Food by Mom Inspired Life
Healthy Food Habits in Preschool: Sorting and a Paper Plate Project by The Preschool Toolbox Blog
Teaching Children About Feelings Vs. Behavior by Capri + 3
Asthma Action Plan by Tiny Tots Adventures
Hand Washing Sequencing and Song by The Educators’ Spin On It