It’s time for Little Critter’s dental check-up. Follow him as he goes through a typical dentist visit. Children enjoy little Critter as he has a way of taking some of the fear out of an unknown experience, like going to the dentist.
- Giant mouth picture
- Several sanitized styrofoam egg cartons
- Several old but sanitized toothbrushes
- Several pieces of sandpaper in different grits
- Dentist supplies (see dramatic play)
- Several bottles of glue and many one inch squares of white paper
- Cavity (A hole in your tooth)
- Braces (Bands that go around your teeth to make them straighter)
- Herbivore (animal or person who does not eat any meat)
- Omnivore (an animal or person who eats both animal meat and plants)
- Carnivore (an animal or person who only eats animal meat)
- Rough (not smooth. bumpy)
Before Reading the Story
Tell the children that your story today is about a special kind of career helper. This person takes care of our teeth when they get sick with cavities. Does anyone know who this career helper is? Once the children have identified the helper as the dentist, let them talk of any dentist experiences they might have had.
Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing abilities to classify, compare, and contrast objects, events, and experiences. AND Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; develops increasing abilities to understand and use language to communicate information, experiences, ideas, feelings, opinions, nedds, questions; and for other varied purposes.
Reading the Story
As you read, point out different tools in the dentist office. Have the children repeat back the names and then continue readind.
Language Development/Listening & Understanding; understands an increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.
After Reading the Story
When you get to the page where the dentist gives Little Critter a lollipop, ask the children if that is really a healthy food for their teeth? Ask them what they think would be a healthier treat for their teeth. Talk to them about how sticky foods and sugars attach to your teeth and cause cavities. Ask the children if they know the most important thing they can do to keep their teeth healthy? (Brush after meals)
Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; builds awareness and ability to follow basic health and safety rules such as fire safety, traffic and pedestrian safety, and responding appropriately to potentially harmful objects, substances, and activities. AND Science/Scientific Knowledge; expands knowledge of and respect for their bodies and the environment.
Ask your dentist for some old x-rays of your teeth. These can be taped to the window or held up to the light. Also bring in any teeth that you might have to share. (Your own, shark, animal, tooth castings). An old cassette holder works well for holding small items (teeth) that you do not want the children to hold loose. Put the teeth inside and tape it shut. Show the picture of the different kinds of teeth (herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore). The children can then use a magnifying glass to compare the different kinds of teeth.
Science/Scientific Skills & Methods/begins to participate in simple investigations to test observations, discuss and draw conclusions, and form generalizations.
Music and Movement
Teach the Tooth Brushing cadence.
Brush your teeth every day,
Up and down it is the right way.
Back and forth and circles too,
This is what we have to do.
Brush your teeth every day,
Up and down it is the right way.
(Children can act out the motions of brushing)
Physical Health & Development/Health Status & Practices; shows growing independence in hygiene, nutrition, and personal care when eating, dressing, washing hands, brushing teeth, and toileting.
Make a large copy of the poem, My Mouth and hang it on the wall. Teach the children the poem while pointing out the various types of teeth.
My incisors are for biting
My canines are for tearing
My molars are for munching,
And my smile is for sharing.
Language Development/Speaking & Communicating; uses and increasingly complex and varied vocabulary.
Tell the children that today they can pretend to be the denist and remove the plaque and sugars from the teeth. On some of the blocks, make a mark using a marker. These are the cavities that the dentist will have to remove. Give the children several different grits of sandpaper and allow them to sand of the marks. Can they feel the different grits of sandpaper? Introduce the words rough and smooth to the children.
Science/Scientific Skills & Methods; begins to use senses and a variety of tools and simple measuring devices to gather information, investigate materials, and observe processes and relationships. AND Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations.
Make several copies of the giant mouth pattern and cover with contact paper. Put into the play dough center and let the children use the play dough to make teeth. Count the teeth after they have finished.
Mathematics/Number & Operations; begins to use one-to-one correspondence in counting objects and matching groups of objects.
Sand and water
Put Styrofoam egg cartons that have been sanitized into the water table with some toothbrushes. The children can pretend to brush the egg carton teeth. Add a small bit of paint to act as food on the tooth and let the children scrub it off.
Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; shows growing creativity and imagination in using materials and in assuming different roles in dramatic play situations. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.
Library and Writing
Give each child a giant mouth picture. Ask them to write the letters of their names across the teeth and cut out the mouths.
Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors. AND Literacy/Early Writing; progresses from using scribbles, shapes, or pictures to represent ideas, to using letter-like symbols, to copying or writing familiar words such as their own name.
Add several hand mirrors to the center and Popsicle sticks along with “office” kinds of materials. If available, add some rubber gloves, safety glasses and a smock. The children can play Dentist using a new Popsicle stick for each mouth that they look into.
Creative Arts/Dramatic Play; participates in a variety of dramatic play activities that become more extended and complex. AND Social & Emotional Development/Knowledge of Families & Communities; develops a growing awareness of jobs and what is require to perform them.
Math and Manipulatives
Before beginning; have the children chant “Not a lot, just a drop. Not a lot, just a drop”. This chant works well for teaching children about glue and toothpaste amounts. Give each child a bottle of glue and ten 1” squares of paper. Draw a line onto another piece of paper. Challenge the children to glue 5 squares above the line and 5 squares below the line. As they glue have them chant’ “Not a lot, just a drop”. Have them count the teeth/squares above the line, under the line, and all together.
Mathematics/Number & Operations; develops increased abilities to combine, separate, and name “how many” concrete objects. AND Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.
Have the children use old tooth brushes and a bucket of water to practice tooth brushing motions on the sidewalk. The water dries quickly, which encourages the them to continue with the motions. For a dirty tooth effect, use chalk to draw the teeth, add cavities. This will take longer to clean off the sidewalk, hence more practice. If available, let the children use 2 minute timers while they play.
Physical Health & Development/Fine Motor Skills; grows in hand-eye coordination in building with blocks, putting together puzzles, reproducing shapes and patterns, stringing beads, and using scissors.
Ask the children to name foods that they crunch with their teeth. Name a food that sticks to your teeth when you eat it. Name a food that is healthy for your teeth. Name a food that is unhealthy for your teeth.
Approaches to Learning/Reasoning & Problem Solving; develops increasing ability to find more than one solution to a question, task, or problem.
Today we read a story about going to the dentist. Ask your child to talk about and share any memory they have of a dentist visit. Remind them at bedtime how important it is to clean their teeth by brushing them well. Brush your teeth together and model good brushing technique.
Check out the web site http://www.colgatebsbf.com They have information and a free booklet that you can send home to parents for adult education.
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