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Cavity Free Kids Teaching Tip #4

In this small group activity, children feel different textures of food to determine which ones are sticky. 

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Sticky, Sticky! Discovery and Science Activity


  • Small plates, bowls or cups.
  • Sticky foods (corn syrup, jam or jelly, peanut butter, marshmallow, raisins).
  • Non-sticky foods (grated cheese, carrot, beans, water, fruit, and vegetables).
  • Make a T graph on chart paper with two columns. Write Sticky Foods in one column and Non-Sticky Foods in the other.
  • Marking pen.

Activity Plan

Place food in different bowls or cups. Children feel the food in each bowl.

There are some foods that are tooth healthy foods. They don’t stick to our teeth and they can even help clean them off. There are other foods that are tooth unhealthy foods. Those foods stick to our teeth. What happens when food sticks to our teeth? Remind children of prior learning to help them remember: Germs eat the food and make cavities.

Which kinds of foods do you think we should we eat most of the time, tooth healthy or tooth unhealthy?

If children say they like the unhealthy, be prepared to ask them why and help them think about what would happen if they ate tooth unhealthy foods all the time? Remind children of prior learning to help them remember: We eat tooth unhealthy foods just once in a while.

Record children’s findings on the T graph.

With support from the Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, Qualistar is proud to bring Cavity Free Kids, an oral health professional development program, to early care and education teachers. The training includes a rich collection of lessons, activities, stories, songs and other resources that actively engage young children in fun-filled, play-based learning and help parents and teachers practice good oral health habits.

Find a free Cavity Free Kids training near you.