- Enamel protects teeth from decay because it is makes a hard barrier. Have the students pretend a hard-boiled egg is a tooth. The shell is hard and protects the egg. Place the egg in a jar filled with 2 cups of vinegar and put the lid on. The vinegar represents bacteria and acids that collect on teeth from food.
Take the egg out after two days to see if the shell is soft. Explain how the vinegar softened the shell so it no longer provides protection. Teeth that are not brushed every day are no longer protected because the enamel gets soft.
- Kids know they must bathe, but do not always like to do it. Make bathing fun by having the students make soap to take home and use in their bathtub. Mix enough soap flakes with water to make a doughy consistency. Add a little food coloring and drops of essential oils, like lavender, to make it smell nice. Shape the dough into balls and place them on wax paper or put them into candy molds sprayed with nonstick spray and let them dry.
Hand Washing and Germs
- Kindergartners have heard the words "wash your hands" many times but they may not know why. Glitter makes a good substitute germ. Sprinkle glitter on the palms of half the kids in the class and shake off the excess into a bowl. Pass a ball, a toy car or book around and look where the glitter spreads. It will be on anything passed, as well as on the shoulders, backs and hands of the kids who did not even have glitter on them to begin with. This shows how germs spread if hands are not washed.
Another activity that shows how soap and water is important to clean properly is to place garden soil in a bin. Allow the kids to rub their hands in it and get dirty. Inspect dirty hands with a magnifying glass. Have some of the kids wash with soap and water, other students wash with just water and the last group just wipe their hands with a paper towel. Inspect hands again to find that the kids that washed in soap and water have the cleanest hands.
- Most kindergarten kids do not do their own hair, yet it is important for them to know that their hair needs to be combed each day. To remind the children in a fun way that combing their hair is important, pour enough liquid tempera paint into the bottom of a pan and add a quirt or two of liquid dish soap; this will aid in clean up later.
Fold a paper towel to fit in the pan and press it into the paint. Flip the pan over on a newspaper-covered table. Give the students a piece of construction paper on which the outline of a head has been drawn and a comb. Have the students press a comb in the paint and make hair on the head by combing it on.