Kids love painting with things that aren’t made for painting. When looking through old family photos I found one of me in preschool in 1980 painting with a toothbrush. It brought back happy memories and we ran out and bought a new 2 pack of cheap brushes to paint with. Although we made a brush to paint, free play with the brushes , some plain paper and paint is just as much fun!
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of paper , a marker, some watercolors, a toothbrush, scissors, dish of water and glue.
- Start by drawing a simple tooth brush with your marker on one piece of paper. If your child is able to draw a toothbrush ( and by able I mean they can tell what it is even if you can’t) then they should do this step if they want.
- Hand it and the toothbrushes to your child. We used water colors for two reasons, most other paints will goop up and you’ll end up with a huge pile of paint that will take forever to dry. Also when the brush ends up in their mouth like all paint brushes in our house do even when they aren’t tooth brushes, water colors leave much less paint on their teeth.
- Paint ! Let dry.
- Cut out the tooth brush, if your child is able to have them do this step.
- Glue it onto the 2nd piece of paper. Let dry. If your child is forgetful about brushing this craft can be added onto a chart . Simply make a box for each day ( big enough for 3 small stickers) and after each brushing add a sticker.
Brush ,brush brush your teeth
Every single day
In the morning
And before you hit the hay !
“The Berenstain Bears Visit The Dentist” by Stan and Jan Berenstain is a classic. I remember reading this as a child and was so pleased to see how much my son enjoyed reading it too. The story is simple, but they cover a lot of the questions a child who has never been or hasn’t been to the dentist in a while may have. We read this many times this fall before my son’s first visit and the hygienist was thrown off when my son asked for the drill. I like that the tooth fairy is giving out dimes for teeth, what’s the going rate now?
“Andrew’s Loose Tooth” by Robert Munsch. Sometimes I think Munsch gets kids in ways many other’s don’t especially what will make them laugh. This book is about a little boy who’s loose tooth is driving him batty,he just wants it out! Everyone tries to help, the dentist comes in a funny car sporting a ponytail and the tooth fairy is in leather and drives a Harley! When I read it alone I thought, oh no this might make my toddler fear the dentist since the dentist in the story ties a rope to Andrew’s tooth and attaches the other end to his car. When I read it to my son I was reminded why the author is as successful as he is, my son even at 2 could tell this was absurd. Hilariously absurd!
These simple shape activities have been a favorite of my son for a while now, so it was only fitting to match it up with his other favorite thing- a garbage truck. I don’t know about your child but my son is nuts about these wonders of public sanitation. Luckily if we sleep in on garbage day there are hundreds of garbage truck videos on youtube. Did you know that garbage trucks in Japan play music, I know because I have seen them on youtube, many many times!
- Gather your materials. You will need some plain construction paper or cardboard ( such as a cereal box) , some green markers or paint, some black and brown construction paper, scissors and glue.
- Draw one large square, one small square and an obtuse triangle on your cardboard.
- Have your child color or paint the shapes green, point out the shapes and label them for your child. We used markers because we were taking a break from paint eating .. *Side note – all parents get frustrated with their kids at times, if you know your patience isn’t at your all time best, or even good take steps to make the craft or lesson less stressful for everyone involved. My son really wanted to make this before his dad got home so instead of getting frustrated at the paint eating, I offered him markers. It worked well for everyone and we had a peaceful time making the garbage truck.
- While they are coloring the shapes, cut out 3 large circles from the black paper.
- Cut out the truck shapes
- Grab the brown piece of construction paper and the glue!
- Add the large square, small one and triangle, so the triangle is only touching at the top.
- The glue for the wheels- you can add the glue as a guide for your child.
- Pop the wheels on and let dry.
” I Stink” by Kate and Jim McMullen was the bain of my existence in my Pre-K class, the kids loved this book and I really liked most of it, but there are some gross things in it like puppy poo, dirty diapers and kitty litter but we put all those things in the garbage so they are totally appropriate. Just know that they will also get a group of 4 and 5 year olds giggling and repeating the words for days on end. Overall though the book is effective and I own a well read copy. The garbage truck is sarcastic and rough, and the alphabet of garbage is creative.
“I Am A Garbage Truck” by Ace Landers is my son’s favorite toy right now, he kisses it good night and it’s the first thing he asks for when he gets up in the morning. The book itself is okay, the story is a little disjointed, when my husband read it to him for the first time he looked over at me in my son’s bed and said ” Am I reading this the right way? It seems like I should have started from the last page?” my son didn’t care, he loves the illustrations and the way the book is in the shape of a garbage truck. I like that it covers both garbage and recycling!
Every community has a fire station and they all offer chances for your child to learn about fire safety and test out the equipment, all you have to do is call your local station and ask. We went to Frisco Safety Town in Frisco , Texas while on vacation.
Click here for ” Hurry Hurry Drive the Firetruck”
” Even Firefighters Hug Their Moms” by Christine Kole MacLean was disappointing. The illustrations are adorable but it seemed like the author was writing the book more for moms to read than for kids . While some books successfully entertain both parents and children , this one wasn’t very entertaining for anyone. I really wanted to like it, and maybe you will but I won’t be adding it to any must read lists any time soon.
Here are a few online resources for fire safety:
Who doesn’t love to get mail? Making their own postcards then sending them to themselves is a fun way to introduce the concept of the mail to your child. For teachers this is a great activity for a community helpers unit.
- Gather your materials. I used a black card cut in two but you can just use any heavy paper cut into the size of a post card. You will need some art materials to decorate your postcard too. I am using blue painters tape to tape over the area to put both the address and return address on.
- Go nuts decorating the front of the post card.
- Flip and decorate the back too!
- Remove the tape, and address the postcard .
- Stick on a stamp and pop it in the mail.
If you are doing this with more than one child or doing more than one post card you can record how long it takes your post card to return to you, or to get to whoever you send it to.
In the mailbox, in the mailbox,
look and see, look and see,
a magazine that’s dandy
a valentine with candy,
just for me , just for me !
My bathroom was starting to look like Costco with old diaper boxes, so I decided to make something useful. It took me less than 30 minutes and my son is in love with his ” Ning ning ning” which is his word for fire truck. Here is the how to!
- Gather your materials. You will need an empty diaper box or other cardboard box, some glue or double stick tape, some colored paper and heavy duty scissors.
- Cut the flaps off the top of the box and lay it on it’s side. Cut a seat sized hole in the top for your child to slide into. You will want to either cover the edges with masking tape or do what I did and just bend them in so the cut edge isn’t so sharp.
- Get some colored paper or if you feel ambitious ( I didn’t) some white paper and cover the box. I used double stick tape because I was in a hurry and my son was climbing on the hearth, but there is no reason you couldn’t glue it. I just cut the paper in the shape of a fire truck- and if you click on the picture you will see that I simply layered it in places.
- Cut or paint some wheels , stick them on.
- To make the ladder I took a piece of paper and folded it lengthwise.
- I cut several slits in it, on the folded side not going all the way through.
- Then cut between them to make gaps in the ladder, glue it on.
* There is no reason kids can’t help making it but this was how I did it for my little guy who is only 15 months. With older kids i would have had them help make the lights, wheels, or even just covered it in white paper and let them at it with some red and black paint!
Need some Fire Truck Books ? Check these Emergency Vehicle Books out .