Health & Nutrition Ideas

Doctor Bag

Cut out of black construction paper the shape of a doctor’s bag. Have the children glue on a red “+” sign, a band-aid, cotton ball, tongue depressor, q-tip, and whatever else you think will look good on it.

Another thing that I also did that my preschoolers loved was a week before I knew we were going to do this theme, I had taken all of their pictures separately. I got them developed and I glued them onto a white paper in the shape of a square. I wrote Dr. Michelle or whatever their name was and then I laminated them. I also made them into a necklace. They all walked around pretending to be doctors with their badges and doctor bags.

Have a Bike Day to promote exercise. Have the children bring their bikes from home along with their helmets. I have supplies on hand like crepe paper steamers and balloons the children decorate their bikes with. Don’t forget the playing cards and clothespins to attach to the wheels! (This was the part they loved the most) We block off a section of the parking lot for our event and have one class ride at a time for safety.

For the theme shapes and Healthy bodies I titled it “Getting in SHAPE for the new year.” and I cut out a bunch of shapes and made a shape person with a barbell in his hand. It turned out really cute.

You need one empty thread spool, and two pipe cleaners for each child. Take one pipe cleaner and stick it though the spool and bring it back to the top and tie it. Then take the pipe cleaner that is on the spool and tie it to the middle of the other pipe cleaner. Children can put the stethoscope on like eye glasses.

Check with your dental school or college. Most students who are studying to be dentists, dental hygienists, or dental assistants or required to do so many community training sessions. They will come to your school to teach your students in a fun way about proper dental care and they will probably get a bag with a new toothbrush and other dental goodies to take home. They also make great visitors for community helper month.

“Those Mean & Nasty Downright Disgusting, but Invisible Germs” book is a hit that drives the point home to my preschoolers. I use a glob of paint in the palm of my hand after reading the book to show where the germs go even if I cover my mouth when I’ve coughed. I then offer to hold someone’s hand, and of course they don’t want to … I pick up a pair of scissors, a book, any number of (washable) things to show how the paint (germs) are spreading even as I put the object down. I then encourage them to cough/sneeze into their elbow or shoulders.

I read the book at least once a month to review, and also for any new ones who’ve joined our group.

Once in a while after potty when someone doesn’t want to wash their hands, I put on the ‘germ’ voice from the story and say, “Ohhh… yess… I’m hiding out on Tommy’s hand…” Then when they wash I mimick the germ from the story again, by whining, “Oh, no! Foiled again! I’m going down the drain, but I’ll … be … bbaacckk!”

Marshmallow Mouth

During “Health” and/or “Dental Health” try this fun project.

Cut an oval from tag board, fold in half (like a taco). Give children miniature marshmallows to glue around the edge of the oval. Color one side (inside the marshmallows) red – representing the tongue. Fold in half again – you have a mouthful of marshmallows smiling at you!

Medical Supply Stores provide a wealth of materials for a hospital dramatic play center. Purchase caps, face masks, bandages, gowns, shoe covers, and other real materials for very little expense. Incorporate toy medical bags and nursing tools. Make an X-Ray from a shirt box and black paper. Hang it on the wall along with an eye chart.

I am completing a unit on the body with my 4 year olds. We used several body books written for kids, available in libraries, as reference. We made our own “layered” body books. The cover has the a body outline filled in by painting with skin tone paint, with button eyes, woolen hair, etc. and a simple piece of “clothing” glued on. The next page has the same outline, filled in with a skeleton (q-tips), muscles (used red crayon to color muscles around the bones), and a Xeroxed picture of a skull on the head. Each child also drew a picture of what they do with their muscles. The third page, the internal organs, uses cutouts of a heart, lungs, stomach and intestines, and a brain, which the kids glued into the correct position. There is a simple description for each organ and room for the child’s comments about that organ. WE have been learning about each body part and adding to the book as we learned about the part. The kids love it and are really starting to understand how their bodies work!



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