Everyday Items as Awesome Toys: TOOTHBRUSH

Everyday Items as Awesome Toys: TOOTHBRUSHtoothbrush (1)

Toothbrush activities – The awesomeness of common items in play should not go unnoticed! In this series, we will explore one such common item each time and discuss five different ways to play with it.

This article is exploring the everyday item: TOOTHBRUSH

Toothbrushes are an essential part of everybody’s daily routine. However, have you ever thought of using it in a ‘fun’ way to teach new skills? Well, here are a few ideas of how to!

  1. Color coding

toothbrush sorting by colorSeveral toothbrushes are needed for this activity. They must be of several different colors.

The activity requires the child to sort the toothbrushes by color.

Teach the child sorting, matching and identifying colors through this simple, fun task.


  1. Where does it go?

Slide2Toothbrush activities, Take an old shoebox. Turn it over and create holes (big enough for the toothbrush to hold/ go through. Keep several toothbrushes alongside. A child must take one toothbrush at a time and place it in the hole. The task can be completed when all the toothbrushes are in the holes (of the shoe box). Build attention and task completion through this activity.


Add an element of reading to this task. You would be required to write letters alongside the holes (in the shoe box). The letters should spell short words such as p-i-g or b-l-u-e. The same letters must be stuck/pasted on the different toothbrushes. The child must pick up a toothbrush that matches the letter and place it in its respective hole. The child can be encouraged to read the letters and word created by it.

  1. Cleaning shoes

tooth brush cleaning shoesPrepare an area that can get messy, take a dirty shoe (preferably the child’s or dolls), soap (I prefer using liquid soap), a bowl of water, a cloth and, of course, a toothbrush.

The child is to be allowed to imitate cleaning of the shoe using the toothbrush and soap. The parent must clean another shoe alongside the child. This will allow the child to see the steps needed for cleaning (wetting it, applying soap, brushing, and wiping).

The activity allows the child to hear and learn a lot of language skills (such as the words– brushing, wet/dry, soft brushing/ vigorous or hard brushing, wiping, etc.). It also allows the child carry out an activity with some independence, see the outcome/consequence of an action. It’s a wonderful sensory activity too!

  1. Spray painting

toothbrush spray paintingThis messy art activity can be so much fun! Poster colors mixed with water can be kept in a bowl. A can be shown how to dip the toothbrush in the bowl and then flick the bristles to spray the color on to a paper. This is best done when the paper is placed vertically on an easel.

Use a variety of colors. This is a sensory activity loaded with concepts of colors!

  1. Brush away alphabet germs

Slide3 On an old whiteboard, use a permanent marker to draw out teeth. Within them, use a whiteboard marker (which can be wiped away easily) to write different letters in each tooth.

The child is to be told to ‘brush away the letter germs’ from the teeth. Fun circular motions, right/left motions of the toothbrush can be made to ‘brush’ the letters.

This not only will teach the concept of letter or numbers but can also encourage the concept and motor actions of brushing teeth.

Toothbrush activities

We hope you enjoy playing games and teaching through these ideas!


Have other ideas, leave a comment about them! We’d love to hear from you.

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Tanushree Chandhok
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