February is National Children's Dental Month. I know visiting the dentist can be nerve-racking for kids and even some adults. Sometimes reading a book before visiting the dentist can help to ease any anxiety children experience. I have compiled a list of books you can use to have conversations about visiting the dentist.
At the Dentist by Mari Schuh
This book explains going to the dentist in a very simple way for young learners. The photographs shows what to expect at a dentist visit.
The Berenstain Bears Visit the Dentist by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Sister Bear has a loose tooth and is nervous about visiting the dentist. She joins her brother on his visit to the dentist and learns about all the tools a dentist uses. She even gets a turn to sit in the chair and get her teeth checked out.
Just Going To The Dentist by Mercer Mayer
Little Critter visits the dentist with his mom. It shows him playing in the waiting room and then being called to see the dentist all by himself.
Brushing Teeth by Mari Schuh
This informational text teaches children why we brush and what type of toothbrush they should brush with.
All About Teeth by Mari Schuh
An informational text about teeth. Children will learn about molars, canines, and cavities.
Flossing Teeth by Mari Schuh
An informational text for young learners explain what floss is and why it is important to floss every day.
Pete the Cat And The Lost Tooth by James Dean
Pete lost his tooth and placed it under his pillow. The tooth fairy showed up and invited Pete to help her for the night.
Snacks for Healthy Teeth by Mari Schuh
A book about good snacks that keep your teeth and gums healthy.
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
The perfect book to teach the the alphabet and promote healthy eating for healthy teeth.
Alan's Big, Scary Teeth by Jarvis
Alan has a big set of shiny teeth that he brushes every day for 10 minutes.
How To Catch the Tooth Fairy by Adam Wallace
Keep little ears perked as they listen for all the rhyming words throughout the story.
How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell
If your kid is into pulling pranks, then this is the perfect book. How will Kaylee trick the tooth fairy?
The Night Before the Tooth Fairy by Natasha Wing
When the little boy's tooth becomes loose, he is very excited about it falling out.
Open Wide by Laurie Keller
At the tooth school, the students are teeth and the principal is a dentist. Make sure you start your morning with the tooth pledge of allegiance.
Brush Your Teeth Please by Jean Pidgeon
Youngsters will enjoy this pop-up book as they learn proper dental hygiene.
Why We Go To The Dentist by Rosalyn Clark
This book gives children all the information they need to know about visiting the dentist and why it is important.
What If You Had Animal Teeth? by Scholastic
What If? Start this story by telling children to put on their imagination hats as they listen to facts about animal teeth.
Pony Brushes His Teeth by Michael Dahl
Simple how-to book for toddlers. Pony learns to brush his teeth from his dad.
A Day in the Life of a Dentist by Heather Adamson
A non-fiction book about a dentist's workday. Ideally, it would be suited for K-2, but if you read this to preschoolers, focus on the pictures as it can be wordy for younger learners.
Let's Meet a Dentist by Bridget Heos
A group of children visit Dr. Florez to find out how to keep teeth clean and healthy. The children visit the exam room and ask Dr. Florez a lot of questions.
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Children love to play with a number of things from store bought toys to boxes. If you ask me, they prefer the boxes over the store bought toys because their imagination runs wild. They also have a love for building structures whether it's with wooden, cardboard, or even large Lego blocks. Play is the job of a child. That’s what childhood is all about, but play can always be turned into meaningful experiences. Have you ever heard the saying, “children learn through play”? I’m sure you have. Today's blog post is a great read for National Lego Day.
In my PreK class, my students absolutely love the block area for many reasons. But like anything that you do a lot, you would eventually get bored. In order to keep the excitement in the block area, I added letters and numbers to the large Lego blocks. As children play, it affords them an opportunity to reinforce their letter recognition and put the alphabet in order. Here are some ways to use these Lego blocks with letters:
Alphabet Sequence: Encourage children to put the letters in order from A to Z. Pay attention to the strategies they may use to sequence the letters. Are they repeating the alphabet from the beginning for each letter until they get to the next one? Or, do they already know what comes after the previous letter. Are they using charts in their environment to assist with completing the task?
Letter Sound Hunt: Say each letter sound in no particular order and encourage children to find the letter that matches the sound. To add a challenge to this, set a timer, ask your child to race against the timer to see how many blocks can be found in a set number of seconds or minutes. If you choose to do this with two or more players, at the end they can count the total number of blocks each person has and determine who has more and less.
Uppercase and Lowercase Letter Match: Tape the uppercase and lowercase on separate Lego blocks. Ask children to find the lowercase that goes with the uppercase letter.
Lego Sight Word Builder: Use a sharpie marker to write letters on the Legos. Encourage children to build the words that you have already taught them. Provide index cards with the words so children can use it as a reference as they build the words.
The Lego blocks are not limited to literacy, you can also incorporate math skills:
Numeral and Quantity Match: Label the Lego blocks with separate number and dot cards. Mix all the blocks up before children begin to play. As they pick up a block, they must identify the number or the quantity, then they must find the other block to match. For example, if the child grabs a Lego block with 6 dots, he/she must count to tell how many, then find the numeral block.
Sequence Numbers: The blocks are numbered 1 through 10. Children can have fun putting the numbers in order. Each block has the numeral and the quantity on the same card. The number of dots help to reinforce the numeral and quantity relationship. If a child does not know the name of the number, encourage them to count the dots to determine the number's name.
Alphabet Height: Measurement is part of PreK standards. Children can talk about how many Legos tall they are or which letter tall they are after putting the letters in order. Also, include other materials that children can use for measuring.
I have worked with preschoolers for many years and have noticed a decline in their fine motor skills as technology became more and more popular with the little ones. I mean, think about how many preschoolers you know with a tablet. Probably quite a few. I am not saying that it is wrong to have one, just simply limiting the time and activities on the device. Children have fewer opportunities to participate in activities that will strengthen their little hands, and because of that, I have found writing to be a challenge due to a lack of muscle strength in their hands.
After making the connection between the increased use of electronic devices and low muscle tone in hands, I began to implement strategies to develop their pencil grip in my classroom and I have also used these strategies with my children at home.
Access to Materials: Create space in your home for your child to independently access paper and a variety of writing tools. Whenever your child wants to doodle, write, or color, he or she can go to the writing station. Consider putting a basket in multiple rooms in your home if possible.
Hand Strength: Implement activities that will strengthen the hands such as playdough or clay, buttoning, snapping, zipping, cutting, and stringing small beads onto an old shoestring. You can also let your child cut straws to use for stringing.
Writing Prompts Together, discuss your child's interests and then create a writing prompt based on the interest. Write each on a small piece of paper which you will later place into a 'writing jar'. You can also add a few additional topics into the jar. Every day, your child will pull a piece of paper out and that will be their writing prompt. Encourage your child to draw or write to respond to the prompt.
Practice Makes Perfect: Like anything that you do, you must practice in order to see results. Writing every day is ideal. It can be as simple as letting your child write or trace his or her name daily. A little pencil grip practice goes a long way. In my PreK class, my students visit the writing center every morning to write their name and at the end of every month, they write their name on these sheets (see below). I staple it on the board adding a new sheet every month. At the end of the year, they go home with a book from September through June showing the improvement of their handwriting. Cute little keepsake.
This is a double sheet and is great for making multiple copies for a class.
Like the name writing sheets? You can use this in your classroom or home if you're homeschooling. Download a free copy here.
Hi, I am Odessa. I'm a mom of two wonderful children and a teacher. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Master of Science in Childhood Education with over 10 years of PreK and Kindergarten experience. I am a lover of all things literacy for children and their curiosity of the world. Get comfy and click around my site. I hope you find something you'll like, and something your kids will love! P.S. Akwaaba means 'welcome' :)
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