February is Dental Health Month.
During the month of February, my scholars learn all about their teeth and dental health, for this school year's Human Body Unit. As part of the dental lessons, I have a dental sensory table that includes an opportunity to continue lesson review and one-to-one number correspondence.
Children have a total of twenty teeth, called primary or baby teeth.
As part of the sensory experience, oversized teeth and gums are added to the filler. Each tooth is labeled with a number, from one to twenty. The correct location for the tooth, in either the top or bottom gum set, is labeled with the corresponding number. The sets and poster embed science and mathematics into the sensory activity, in a fun and engaging way.
Although it does take some time to make the model sets, there are very few supplies needed to complete the sensory experience.
The teeth and gum sets are made from two 1lb. bricks of white and two 1lb. bricks of red Sculpey brand, oven-bake polymer clay. I shaped and baked the teeth first. Since the red clay can stain prior to baking, I wrapped the bake cured teeth in plastic-wrap before molding the gums around them. After I completed shaping of the gums, I carefully wiggled the teeth out before placing the gums in the oven to cure. When all of the clay was completely cured and cooled, I wrote the numbers with a black fine-point permanent marker.
The sensory table filler is colored paper confetti. It can be found in most party sections of stores. Tools for the discovery experience are large toothbrushes, repurposed scoops and Squeezy Tweezers. If placing this sensory table out for more than one week, I suggest you provide only one type of tool and either add or replace it with different types of tools during the second week.
The Primary Teeth Chart poster is hung above the sensory table, after the lesson on their twenty teeth has been given. While most charts and models show adult teeth, I felt it was important to have the main focus and education on the primary set of teeth that they currently have and touching on the adult set of teeth that they will eventually end up with. The Primary Teeth Chart (in a set of multiple sizes) can be found in my TPT store HERE or by clicking the link at the end of this post.
Click the image below to be taken to the Primary Teeth Chart:
My Amazon Picks, to complete the '20 Teeth and Counting' sensory table: