It's never too early to start learning the importance of dental hygiene and simple craft activities are an ideal method for teaching toddlers about toothbrushes. Make toothbrushes into toys or art equipment and show them how to brush pictures as well as teeth. They'll soon see their toothbrush as something they can have fun with rather than just a item associated with chores before bed.
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Teach toddlers how to clean their teeth properly and the tooth fairy won't have to pay a visit until their teeth fall out naturally. The Kids Games and Crafts website recommends making a toothbrush fairy for your toddler. Cut strips of craft foam just large enough to wrap around the handle of a child's toothbrush without touching the bristles and help kids glue it in place. Give them marker pens and self adhesive googly eyes to make a face on their tooth brush fairies. Cut out wing shapes from a different colour of craft foam and get the toddlers to stick these to the back of their tooth brush fairies.
Toddlers will enjoy experimenting with different colours and textures using their toothbrushes for splatter paintings. The First Palette website recommends having them cut out simple shapes, such as stars or hearts, from construction paper with safety scissors. You can help them draw these shapes if necessary. Place the shapes on a piece of blank white paper and place a kitchen strainer over the paper. Show the toddlers how to dip their tooth brushes in coloured paint, then rub the brush over the top of the strainer so the paint splatters onto the paper below. When the whole sheet is covered in paint, lift off the strainer and the cut-outs to reveal their white shapes amid the paint splatters.
Toothbrushes are great for creating streaks and swirls in thick paint. Help kids paint a coat of neon orange, yellow and pink paints in stripes on black construction paper. Then have them press their toothbrushes into the paint and drag it across the paper in curves or swirls. As the paint lifts off onto the brush, they'll see some of the black paper showing through, which will help teach them about texture and the way brushes clean.
Show kids how to create a jewelled holder for their toothbrush. Give them empty containers, such as yoghurt tubs, and have them paint the outside and inside with non-toxic craft paints. Then give them glitter glue pens and large sequins to glue on the outside of their holders. Have them roll a ball of plasticine between their hands and press this down onto the inside base of their holders. This will provide weight to the containers to stop them tipping over when their brushes are inside.
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