Today I had a little brainwave which I thought I would share with you! At my nursery, we sit the Pre School children down after their high tea and have 'tooth-brushing time.'
Now this can be a challenging time for us (especially on the days that we have larger groups of children) and the children can struggle to sit for this time, let alone actually brush their teeth!
I know my children well, and I recognised that today, our usual tooth-brush time story was not going to work! The children were full of fun and tall tales and if I had tried to read a book, they would all be offering thoughts and ideas - spraying toothpaste (and not to mention spit) everywhere!
And so - I decided to make up a little game; very simple and to be very honest - it doesn't really teach the children anything fantastic BUT it helped to add an element of fun to a time which otherwise could have turned into something negative!
Here's how to play:
The Tooth-Brush Time Game
- Allow the children to choose a song. This could be a nursery rhyme, a pop song or a song from a movie - anything that will keep their interest. (Try to avoid any songs that are too long or too short - 2 minutes being the ideal because that is the recommended amount of time for brushing teeth.) - My children chose the Gummy Bear song which I had never heard of before! They were excited to add this silly song into their routine.
- From here on, the game is similar to 'musical bumps/ statues'. The rules are: When the music plays they brush their teeth. When the music stops they must hold their brush up in the air.
- Continue to start and stop the music until the 2 minutes has passed. Simple!
Because this was the first time that I had tried this game with my children, they were happy just to take part in the game - I did not need to have 'Winners' or give any kind of rewards but these elements could be added.
Of course, Tooth Brushing can be extended into learning in many ways:
- Why not try making a mind map with the children to find out what they already know? They will probably surprise you!
- Laminate pictures of the children smiling (or just showing their teeth) - use whiteboard markers to colour in their pearly whites and provide toothbrushes for the children to 'clean their teeth'.
- Collage pictures of foods which are good for your teeth or not so good.
- Set up a role play Dentist
- Painting using toothbrushes
Don't forget: National Smile Month is 19th May to 19th June 2014.