Dental Health Books and Circle Time Activities for PreK

I was gathering my dental health materials for our second week of healthy habits when I realized I might need a few more activities to round out the week.  When I get ready to plan a theme in my preschool classroom I try to divide up my plans into different areas to make sure I am covering everything I need to as I plan.  I try to gather my books and circle time activities together to make sure I have plenty for each day of the week.  Here are some of the dental health books and poems that I plan to use.

Dr. De Soto is a book that I think originally belonged to one of my own children before I started teaching preschoolers.  I enjoy being able to read longer books that have a story that my students really need to follow along with as I read.  I enjoy asking my students whether they think Dr. De Soto should treat the fox, what might happen if he does, and how will he keep from getting eaten in the process.

Many of my students have seen Little Bear episodes on television or on another electronic device, so Little Bear’s Loose Tooth might be familiar to some of my students.  We often talk about whether any of them have known anyone with a loose tooth.  Often there are older siblings to talk about.  We can also take guesses as we read whether each attempt at getting the tooth out will work.

Why Do I Brush My Teeth? is a nonfiction book with color photos and suggested activities on each page.  At least one of these suggested activities we will be doing this week with an egg and vinegar.  I also plan on having a few mirrors to pass around while I share this book, as well as having one with the book in my library area.

I Know Why I Brush My Teeth is a bit longer than the other books.  It is told as a story with a mother explaining to her son about teeth when he discovers a loose tooth.  There are lots of details in this book about tooth brushing, fluoride, foods to eat, visits to the dentist, cavities, and parts of teeth.  Some years I can read the entire book and other years I just read portions, depending upon the type of group of students I have.

I also make sure I share songs during the week that go along with our theme as well.  Here are links to a few that are easy to sing (love those piggy back songs to familiar tunes):

Brush Your Teeth (to Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Brushing (to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

I’ve Been Brushing (to I’ve Been Working on the Railroad) There are actually a bunch of songs here, just make sure they will work for you with the tune they suggest.  Sometimes I know it is just my lack of musical talent, but sometimes there is a word left out or something that just makes the words not quite work with the tune given.

Insect themed calendar set with three sets of cards for three pattern choices. Also has month headers, days of week, and seasons.
Insect theme calendar set

Since it is a new month I have just switched out my calendar numbers.  I did not go with a dental theme since the rest of our month will deal with spring type themes.  I decided I needed to use these great insects.  I discovered I had to laminate the last week’s worth last night because somehow I had managed to fit all the other numbers into little spaces during the year when I was laminating other stuff, but not 24-30.

questionofthedayteeth

I also plan to use my Question of the Day for healthy habits during circle time.  One student has the job for the week of tallying our responses and then we figure out which answer has the most and which has the least responses.   Healthy habits questions are in this Question of the Day set or you can find them in the bundle.

Do you have any favorites for circle time that involve dental health?

 

More Community Helpers in PreK

Color Mixing Fire Fighter Painting
Color Mixing Fire Fighter Painting

We spent two weeks on our Community Helpers theme.  One of our crafts involved mixing paint to make a fire.  I showed my students red and yellow paint, putting some of each on the paper.  I placed a piece of plastic wrap on top of the paint and asked them to mix the two colors to make a fire to put out.  We discussed how we started out with yellow and red and then I asked them what other color they saw when they were finished.  The next day we painted hands blue after gluing on a hose.  Students used their blue hands to make water come out of the hose to put out the fire.  Activity was inspired by this pin.

Putting Out Fire in the Sensory Bin
Putting Out Fire in the Sensory Bin

Thanks to another teacher I received these small red cups.  I placed foam numbered flames with hot glue onto each cup after discovering that sticky tack definitely does not work.  Students sprayed the cups to put out the fires.  As the sensory bin was used it got more difficult to place the cups in stacks due to the fact that the cups slide around in the water.

Community Helper Puzzles
Community Helper Puzzles

These community helper puzzles were a great find at the Green Valley Book Fair.  I love that they are self checking; they will not go together unless they are in the correct puzzle.

Community Helpers Count and Clip Vehicles
Community Helpers Count and Clip Vehicles

I found a great set of community helper vehicles and people to clip together.  Creating this uses quite a few clothes pins, so I suggest grabbing a set at the dollar store.

The pile of people to clip to the vehicles
The pile of people to clip to the vehicles

In addition to community helper activities we also worked on letter C activities.  My students are very interested in everything dot marker, so I put together many different dot marker activities for my students.  The one pictured can be found here.

Letter C dot marker activities
Letter C dot marker activities

Our pretend play has been an Auto Shop.  Printables for this are from Pocket of Preschool.  I discovered a few things this year that were not an issue last year.  I tried a different method of raising up the car this year.  The cubes worked okay, but one student tried to kneel on one of them.  So, we ended up sliding the two crates directly under the car, which actually allowed two spots for the students to lay under the car at a time.

Auto Shop
Auto Shop

I also discovered that my students liked twisting the pipe cleaner wires around the crate instead of into the car.  I did not complain since it was still great fine motor work for them.

Auto Shop Supplies
Auto Shop Supplies

I also discovered that my students liked dumping things into the car and sometimes needed help getting things out to put them away.

Next we will take the car and turn it into a tractor for our pumpkin patch.

Community Helpers in PreK

One of my community helper questions of the day
One of my community helper questions of the day

We start our day with our Question of the Day.  I usually have questions that go along with whatever we are studying, so this past week we have had several questions about community helpers.  I thought this one would be one that everyone would say yes to, but that was not the case.  Learn something new about my students every day.  My community helper themed questions can be found in this set.

Block area with play house on fire and firefighters on blocks
Block area with play house on fire and firefighters on blocks

To go along with our question, I had put out the play house with laminated flames stuck to it.  I also found a set that was meant for play dough play and used it instead to attach to blocks for some block area fun.  One of my students had all the fire fighter blocks balanced on the fire truck block and slid it across the carpet to put out the fire.

Writing Center Stamp and Write
Writing Center Stamp and Write

Our writing center focused on the letter M during the week.  We used the Alphabet Stamping Set with some ink pads and my alphabet stamps from Melissa & Doug.  This writing center will return in a few weeks with another letter.  I like to switch up what is in the writing center and then circle back to something familiar in a few weeks with another letter or theme.

Letter M Punch Out
Letter M Punch Out

This is a center that I did not expect to be as huge a hit as it was.  Part of the reason is probably that I found a couple of different punches that were easier for my beginning of the year PreK students to use.  No luck finding a photo of the ones I used online, but the students could line up the letter in the shape and then punch using their thumb and two fingers.  There is a similar type punch here.  I had a few try out the hand grip hole punch, but we need to work up to that one.  You can find one of the hole punch sets here.

Count and Clip Bandaids
Count and Clip Bandaids

I am discovering more about the group of students I have this year.  I had several who were interested in trying out the first set of count and clips I put out this year.  I have found that some years kids really enjoy these and other years they get ignored.  Happily this seems to be a good year for these if this past week is any indication.  Students count the bandages and then clip the clothespin to cover the correct number.  This set came from Making Learning Fun.

Construction Theme Sensory Bin
Construction Theme Sensory Bin

For our sensory bin this week I chose rocks and aquarium gravel.  I also used construction vehicles.  This makes for a loud sensory bin, but the kids loved playing with it all week.  In the past I have used rocks with sand, but since we used sand during the first week of school I wanted to give them a different experience.

After a day of play...
After a day of play…

And just to keep it real, a look at the bin after a day of play.

What are some of your favorite community helper theme centers?