01Kids can explore creative storytelling with the Legend of the Tooth Pirate … a new twist on the Tooth Fairy, shared by our Blog Ambassador Julie of Happy Strong Home!
I love celebrating special days, holidays, first moments, and milestones with my boys. Cultural traditions provide many tales and imaginative characters to help families celebrate these moments: from leprechauns to Easter bunnies, elves to the tooth fairy.
Only… My boys weren’t really buying the whole Tooth Fairy idea. So I thought, why not find something they like and create a personalized legend to celebrate this milestone in a way that interests them?
Since they play pirates from sun-up to sun-down, finding a topic of high interest for them was easy. Then I invented The Legend of the Tooth Pirate.
Creating this legend evolved over a few weeks. First, I floated the idea out there one night at bedtime to see if the boys would “bite”.
“Keep an eye on that loose tooth,” I said. “When it comes out, the Tooth Pirate might nab it!”
“Who’s the Tooth Pirate!?” they begged to know.
So the legend began of a tiny pirate who traveled the Seven Shining Seas to gather pearly whites that fell out when little boys and girls lost them.
The first time the Tooth Pirate visited my boys, he left a tiny note and a two-dollar bill. I explained that since the Tooth Pirate travels the world, he often leaves behind strange currencies from far away lands.
The boys wanted to know more. How big was he? What was the name of his ship? Why did he collect teeth instead of treasure? Good questions and I had to fill in the story!
In this way, our personalized legend developed, and the boys look forward to the next visit from the Tooth Pirate, who we named Captain Pearl. Each visit, I share more about his many sailing adventures.
To fit our theme, I used white air-dry clay to fashion a tooth shape over the skull handle that came on the original chest. (Once dry, this shaped can be popped off and put on for Tooth Pirate visits only!).
Whenever there’s a visit due, I use our pirate puppet, Captain Pearl, and he tells them sea stories, answers their questions, and gives advice about keeping their teeth clean.
The boys like to play with the Captain Pearl puppet too, and they happily tell each other the stories they’ve heard me share.
Along with the traditional money given for lost teeth, I like to include (or, should I say, Captain Pearl likes to include!) play and craft items like crayons or paint for them to enjoy! They stash their coins in the secret compartment for the next visit from the Tooth Pirate. They love opening and closing the hidden drawer.
As a family, it’s been a wonderful communication exercise to create a personalized legend together to celebrate this special growing up milestone of losing teeth.
You can create your own legend for any family occasion or childhood milestone. All you need is a topic of interest (perhaps a favorite animal or object), and a few simple props, like a themed container, toy, or puppet.
You could create a Happy Birthday Princess, a Nighty-Night Knight, a Clean Up Piglet, and more fun legends and tales to go along with special days, developmental learning and more!
Let the story develop through your child’s questions. Keep it lighthearted and let them steer the story. You’ll see a Legend develop over time that will be a special memory for all of you!
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