Dentist and Oral Hygiene

     Practicing good oral hygiene is important for your overall health and is something we do here at SMART START.   February is  National Children's Dental Health Month.  We are strong advocates for instilling life skills and teaching proper self-care  to our students.  Our oral hygiene units were a huge success . We encompassed a wide variety of learning and hand-on activities, as well as on-site field trips with Andover Pediatric Dentistry.

     SMART START learners were excited to kick off National Children's Dental Health Month at school.  During circle time we read various books about the dentist, good eating habits to protect your teeth, brushing your teeth and overall good oral hygiene.    They asked intelligent questions about the subject matter and everyone took a turn informing the group about the color of their toothbrush, toothpaste flavor and teeth brushing songs .  Most students shared that they brushed their teeth twice a day with a grownup's assistance and then finished on their own.  Here's a fun song that some of our friends sing while brushing their teeth at home:

Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Each and every day
Up and down
And side to side
That's the  (child's name) way!

     Busy readers enjoyed reading books on their own and with friends.  Dentist puppets and figurines were incorporated into story times and dramatic play.  What a fun introduction to our dentist and oral hygiene learning unit!  Keep up the good brushing!

    SMART START dentists suited up in their lab coats, gloves and masks and began seeing their patients bright and early.  The dolls were fabulous patients and sat contently in the dental chairs as SMART START dentists provided them with a proper teeth cleaning and dental exam.  The children loved playing the part of a dentist and took this job very seriously.  Pupils have acquired a lot of new information during circle time and were delighted to put their knowledge and skills to good use.  This was a wonderful hands-on learning activity because not only did it provide students with the opportunity to apply what they have been learning, it helped build confidence and reassure them that visiting the dentist is a pleasurable experience that keeps them healthy and smiling.  

     Larger than life mouth models accompanied our oral hygiene lesson.  Classmates continued to work on these realistic models to get a better feel for proper brushing and flossing.  They also used the dental mirror to get a closer look at all the teeth from a variety of angles.  
     Preschoolers continued to learn about the names of all the teeth, plaque and cavities.  Using the larger than life mouth models allowed them to get an up close and personal and look at each tooth and practice identifying each type.  They were able to see where and how both plaque and cavities form and learned techniques and treatment to care for these problems.

    Martha from Andover pediatric Dentistry visited SMART START  both last and this year for on-site field trips!  Preschoolers put their SMART START t-shirts on and anxiously awaited her arrival.  After participating in many on-site field trips our group knows what behavior is expected and continue to impress all with their listening skills and good behavior.
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     Martha was happy to see so many smiling faces that have been learning all about dentistry and practicing good oral hygiene.  
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    Both field trips were interactive hands-on learning experiences for our young learners.  Martha taught them all about the proper way to brush their teeth and floss, what to eat and not eat for a healthy mouth, what cavities and plaque are and how to avoid them.  As always, enthusiastic friends provided great commentary on their oral hygiene habits, along with asking many intelligent and appropriate questions.  We are so proud of our preschoolers when they exhibit superior listening skills and can really benefit what the on-site field trip program has to offer.
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  When Martha came to visit she brought  bags of food props, games and special prizes for everyone.  Fun was had by all! SMART START singers learned new songs about oral hygiene and happily sang along with  Oh what fun!
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     The children loved their gift bags from Andover Pediatric Dentistry.  The items in the bag included a new toothbrush and tube of toothpaste for school and home , flossers, stickers and an educational coloring book.  
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Eating Healthy, What Teeth Do and Toothbrush and Toothpaste!

Field Trip Fun!


Healthy Foods = Healthy Teeth!

Educational coloring books from Andover Pediatric Dentistry!


     We are very thankful that Andover Pediatric Dentistry takes time each year out of their busy
schedule to visit the children here at SMART START!  A perfect way to wrap up our oral hygiene units and celebrate National Children's Dental Month!

Lastly, we want to thank all of our families for continuning to support our on-site field trip program that allows us to provide enriching and educational experiences for your child(ren)!

💙 Mary and Francesca 💙


Mass Audubon Field Trips

Mass Audubon Ipswich River Sanctuary visited SMART START last spring and again this winter for on site field trips at our school. These programs enhance our units of studies as well as enrich the education for our students!  

     Audubon programs are filled with endless captivating material.  The educator naturalists that present to our group are phenomenal and engage their audience through a variety of hands- on activities.

  The children's eyes and ears become fixated as information is shared, stories are read and items are passed around to explore.

Last year's "spring into nature" program was thoroughly enjoyed! Miss Rita our educator showed different wildlife as our group embarked on a nature hunt at school.  Items showcased throughout the hunt were a wasp nest, fossils, toads, tadpoles, frogs and more!  The children had the opportunity to get up close and personal with said nature's treasures. They held them while learning  fun facts and inquiring information about each. SMART START naturalists worked on identifying types of trees, leaves, bugs and more in their backyard at school ,otherwise known as the outdoor classroom!


Today, Miss Stephanie our educator along with eager SMART START explorers went into our new outdoor classroom for a winter animal observation! Peers searched together the entire backyard. Findings were a deer horn, fox skull, raccoon , rabbit, beaver and many other forest animal artifacts. In addition they played games and pretend play activities. Pictures and puzzles of animals and facts were introduced as well as animal foot prints and tracks made were displayed.
Thank you miss Stephanie for a exhilarating morning! Classmates are already anticipating an Audubon field trip for next fall or summer! 


Preschoolers were full of intelligent and appropriate questions for our guests and continued talking about the field trips and their happenings throughout both days! Encounters of this sort impact each and every one of our students! They simply love being carefree outdoors embracing their environment, while continuing to be curious and inquisitive about all things nature! Hands-on experiences such as these instill a lifetime desire to learn.

Thank you for allowing your child(ren) to participate in our continued on-site field trip programs!   
Your support and willingness allows our school to continue educating , enriching and enhancing the lives of our SMART START students!

💙 Mary and Francesca 💙


Veterinary Unit of Study and Field Trips

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Last fall as well as this winter SMART START friends were introduced to the veterinary field. Here at school  we have both a love and passion for animals and share that with our students on a daily basis. Pupils interact with class pets, as well as take part in their care. Class pets include rabbits Pilot and Harriet  and chickens, Caroline and Charlotte. Gertrude the guinea pig, made a guest appearance last year during the unit of study. The children have grown to love all the pets and have learned so much about them. The animals have also contributed to the growth of our young learners in the following areas and values;
  • Self-esteem
  • Responsibility
  • Compassion
  • Empathy
  • Teamwork
  • Sharing.    

    SMART START friends love to listen to and read books. We lined our bookshelves with materials surrounding the veterinary field and animals.  During our group story time the children eagerly asked questions and shared personal stories.  We take great pleasure in hearing their stories as they are told with such joy and pride.  Nature lovers were excited to have story time outside.  Barny the Barn Owl even joined in!  We think Barny especially loved this unit of study!

    Our animated group were quite fond of dress up and dramatic play. They put on veterinarian uniforms, took plastic vet tools into their hands with confidence as they cared for all the animals in the classroom, even our beloved class pets. SMART START vets were proud and passionate as they treated the animals.  They worked together beautifully which assisted keeping pets at ease. Young vets pretended to listen to hearts, administer shots and check eyes and ears.  Both Pilot and Gertrude, as well as the stuffed animals, were well groomed with brushes. We were proud of our students and was a pleasure to witness all drawing upon their newly attained knowledge and skill set. A job well done!

     Our arts and crafts portion entailed creating a pet carrier for a take home dog that each child received.  SMART START artists decorated a small box by drizzling glue and covering with multi colored tissue paper and glitter. The Carriers looked fabulous! SMART START vets each had a check list  and performed specific actions such as listening to a heart beat, using a Band-Aid and applying an ace bandage. Young learners also answered questions about their dogs such as name, how they are feeling, etc. All were proud of their creations and excited to take their new pets home.

🐰 Veterinarian Field Trip 🐰  

     SMART START vets were thrilled for field trip day! As always, the children dressed in the SMART START field trip t-shirts and behaved wonderfully during the field trip.  The veterinarians happily shared information about what their jobs entail and stressed what an important part of the community they are.  Below are pictures from 2018 and 2019 field trips!



     We hope your child(ren) enjoyed our veterinary curriculum here at school!  Thank you for your support in our on site field trip program!

💙 Mary and Francesca 💙