Your child’s first lost tooth marks a big moment in both of your lives. For you, that tiny tooth means your baby is officially a big kid. For your child, a missing tooth means a visit from the legendary tooth fairy.
Traditionally, children have put their missing teeth under their pillows and crafty parents have managed to somehow remove the tooth and leave money behind without waking up the sleeping kid. However, you can avoid the pillow technique using some creative ways to break the mold.
Take a look at these innovative tooth fairy traditions and create magical memories for both you and your child.
Come up with a Backstory
Where does the tooth fairy come from anyway? You and your child can decide for yourselves with a unique tooth fairy backstory. Does the tooth fairy work alone or does she have an army of helpers? Where does she live? Why does she collect teeth in the first place? What does she do with the teeth?
You can come up with these answers yourself and present them to your child as a story. Alternatively, ask your child what he or she thinks and develop a storyline together.
Make a Special Container
You can avoid the dreaded nighttime pillow shuffle by placing your child’s tooth in a special container near his or her bed.
Even if you have limited sewing skills, you can make a unique tooth pillow. Simply take two squares of felt and sew a small pocket onto the front of one of them. The pocket can be just a smaller piece of felt, or a fun shape, like a tooth or a fairy.
Next, sew the two squares of felt together with the pocket on the outside. Leave a small gap you can put stuffing through. Once you stuff your pillow, sew up the gap. Have your child place his or her lost tooth inside the pocket before they go to sleep.
You can make a tooth box out of almost anything, including:
- Metal mint tins
- Old film canisters
- Small pill boxes
- Handmade ceramic containers
Have your child help you decorate the container with paint, stickers, or tooth designs.
You can combine a container for your child’s tooth with “evidence” of the tooth fairy’s visit. Have your child put their tooth in a small jar of water before bed. Then when you take the tooth out, put a few drops of food colouring in the jar. The colour change lets your child know the fairy stopped by overnight.
Make a Chart for All the Baby Teeth
When your child starts to lose his or her teeth, you can help count down how many teeth still have to go. Make a diagram or list of all your child’s teeth and cross them out as your child loses them. You can even include blank spaces to write down what gift the tooth fairy left for each tooth.
Teach a Lesson
The tooth fairy can be a teacher as well as a fun story. You can leave notes for your child from the tooth fairy reminding him or her to brush twice a day and remember to floss. You can also use the tooth fairy’s impending visit as motivation for your child to do things like clean up his or her room. The tooth fairy can’t retrieve teeth from messy rooms.
Use Alternatives to Money
Just because the tooth fairy traditionally leaves behind cash doesn’t mean your family’s fairy has to. You can have the tooth fairy leave your child small toys or “coupons” for things like an exciting outing or one-on-one time with a parent.
To build the magic and mystery for your child, have the tooth fairy leave evidence of her visit.
Sprinkle a little bit of glitter on the money the tooth fairy leaves your child, or somewhere like on a windowsill. You can even create tiny footprints in the glitter for a more convincing effect.
Leave your child photographic evidence of the tooth fairy’s visit. This could be just a picture of your child sleeping or a picture of a fairy. You could even use a website such as icaughtthetoothfairy.com to add a fairy to a picture of your child.
Even the tooth fairy can give receipts. Leave your child a receipt from the fairy describing the tooth she collected and what she left behind. You can find various pre-designed “receipts” online.
For a personal touch, leave your child a letter from the tooth fairy. Include praise for his or her dental hygiene and a thank you for letting the fairy take the tooth.
Losing baby teeth can be a magical experience for both you and your child. Create fond memories for your family with these creative tooth fairy traditions.