Making brushing teeth fun!

Think of creative ways to make brushing your teeth fun. For example, listening to fun sounds or songs that are two minutes long to help keep yourself and your kids brushing for the full duration of time recommended. Also, having a cool toothbrush designed for kids that features their favourite characters helps brings out the fun in brushing and allows children to bring their favourite cartoon and television friends into the bathroom with them.

  • Create a rewards chart – Children should brush their teeth twice a day, so try keeping track of your child’s brushing on a calendar by the sink with gold stars. If there are two stars at the end of the week, they could get a little treat.
  • Make brushing teeth time family time – At night, get together in the bathroom to brush your teeth for the recommended two minutes. It will encourage your children when they see there parents/carers are doing it too.
  • Don’t make the dentist a scary place – Dentists recommend dental check-ups every six months, which can be scary for many children. So prepare them beforehand. Give them an idea of what to expect; try using picture books or do some role-playing exercises to explain to kids what to expect during a dental visit. After the visit, reward them for good behaviour.
  • Keep a routine – Make it part of your child’s daily routine, so that they can become used to regular brushing.
  • Use tooth brushing games and apps – Brushing apps for smartphones and tablets, like the free Oral-B Disney Magic Timer App, can help children brush by featuring exciting animation and virtual stickers.

Lastly, remember that a healthy diet is important in tooth care for kids. Try to avoid or limit sugary foods and drinks. It’s recommended that they only drink milk and water. If you give them sugary foods, only do so at their regular mealtimes.

Saying affirmations with our young children

Affirmations are repeatedly saying positive declarations to yourself and your experience.

Affirmations can help young children feel confident and encourage a positive self-image. They are also a powerful way of reducing anxiety.

An affirmation like “I can do this” just might help your little one have some confidence when they are struggling to dress themselves, use kind hands or maybe they are having a hard time waiting their turn.

The more your little one says positive affirmations about themselves, the more they will start to believe them. It’s teaching our little ones that when a self-limiting belief arises “I can’t do it!!”, to switch it with a positive thought “I’ll keep trying!”.

This of course takes time with children so young, but that’s where you as the responsible adult needs to model this.

It’s important children learn this at such a young age so that it becomes natural in their later lives. Educating children on numbers, colours etc is important absolutely but at Little Owl’s we believe their positivity and self-love is just as important.

Children will struggle to understand what an affirmation is and how to use them effectively, but you can begin by talking to your little ones about the different thoughts and feelings they have. Although there is no wrong or right way to feel, some of our feelings make us feel better than others.

Some examples you can use with your young children are:

I am a good friend

I am kind

I am special

I am happy

I am strong

I am loved

How to support our children with separation anxiety

Covid 19 has meant missed / inconsistent nursery sessions, no stay and play sessions, hardly any experience of the outside world and adventures with family and friends.

So it’s understandable that when going to nursery or when being left with another responsible adult they are going to be full of anxiety, confusion and frustration.

When starting nursery or after having some time off due to holidays, sickness etc. young children struggle with their emotions because it’s out of their routine so even more so now their emotions are going to be heightened as a lot of our young children have only ever been in the care of their parents/carers and as of recently, immediate family. Most children have never been without their parents until now.

You may drop your child off feeling like the worst parent in the world as they kick and scream your name but you’re actually helping them learn to cope without you, and that’s an important step towards their growing independence. It’s also a sign of how well you have bonded with your child. Don’t be too hard on yourself – separation anxiety is common and it’s normal even more so in these times of covid.

Tips for separation anxiety:

  • Practice short sharp bursts when leaving your child. Due to covid children may require more frequent and shorter settling in sessions i.e., leaving them for 10 minutes one day. 15 the next. It may be tedious to begin with and feel like a long process but they need to understand and realise that every time you are coming back. It’s also good as its not allowing them enough time to get overly distressed if you do leave him when they are upset.
  • If your child is between the ages of 3-5 they will be familiar with certain places you visit together in your local area i.e. the shop down the road. When leaving your child you can talk to them before and when dropping them off about where you are going and that you will be back soon.
  • Talk about what you are going to do when you pick them up so they have something to look forward toe. “when Daddy picks you up we are going to pop to Nanny and Grandad’s house”.
  • Leave something comforting with your child. This could be something of theirs i.e. a blanket, a teddy or something of yours; perhaps a scarf, a cardigan, an item that smells like you.
  • Speak to your child about all of the fun things they will get up to at Nursery. If your child is obsessed with trains, Peppa pig or sand make sure you tell the setting / person caring for your child. They can ensure this is available for them.