event MarkhamMG_9488
Oral Health Program
Stephanie Wang | September 1, 2015

Date of Event: August 6, 2015 at 10:00 AM
Community Partner: City of Markham
Attendees: Campers (ages 4-7) from the City of Markham’s My Little Camper Camp
Guest Speaker: This program was led entirely by the HOL Managing Team.

Participant-Identified Pedagogy:
Recreation play-based activities were determined by the City of Markham staff to be an effective pedagogy. The goal was to make oral health relatable, fun and understandable.

Social Need:
We worked with the City of Markham staff to determine that oral health was an important priority for this age group and population. Lifelong oral health begins in the formative childhood years, including through fundamental habits like toothbrushing and following a nutritious diet!

Oral health concepts were taught through active and passive age-appropriate activities. This included circle and running-based games, in addition to arts and crafts.


  1. In order to teach the campers about plaque buildup and toothbrushing, the classic game of tag was adapted so that the people who are ‘it’ were ‘toothbrushes’ and the people who were running around were ‘plaque’. In addition to being a fun and interactive game that contributed to the campers’ Daily Physical Activity requirements, the fundamental role of toothbrushing was reinforced.
  2. Campers received a handout with a large ‘sad tooth’ on one side and a large ‘happy tooth’ on the other side. Cutouts of healthy and non-healthy foods were subsequently handed out. In order to practice discerning tooth-friendly foods, the campers sorted and pasted the cutouts on the appropriate tooth.

Testimony from Event:
As a former City of Markham camp counsellor and supervisor, it is always a thrill to be a guest instructor at a camp! I am a huge advocate for play-based learning and I saw firsthand that it helped many children grasp fundamental oral health concepts. With that being said, my favourite part was that toothbrushing was finally seen as something fun instead of just a chore!