By the time most children in the UK start losing their teeth, they’re aware of the tooth fairy - a small fairy who collects their teeth and leaves a coin in its place. For both children and parents, the loss of milk teeth is something of a milestone and the idea of the tooth fairy is a fun way to celebrate. Around the world, different cultures have different traditions, so let’s take a look at how you can make your own family rituals when your kids lose their teeth.
Make a pocket pillow
Here in the UK, the lost tooth is traditionally placed under the child’s pillow - but that can lead to a lot of scrabbling around while trying not to wake your kids. Why not make a small pillow with a pocket for the tooth instead, so it can be kept safe until the fairy collects it, and the coin is easy to find in the morning.
Bring in Ratoncito Perez
In Hispanic cultures, the tooth fairy isn’t your average dress-clad lady with glittery wings - it’s Ratoncito Perez, who is a friendly rat. The kids can pop their tooth in a glass of water at bedtime and Ratoncito will drink the water, take the tooth and leave a small gift - often a cookie - in the empty cup. This is an ideal alternative if you’ve got children who aren’t interested in fairies.
In Japan and some other Asian countries, when a child loses a tooth it’s tossed into the air. Teeth from the upper jaw are thrown straight downwards to the ground and those from the lower jaw are thrown up to the roof in the hopes that the new tooth will grow in straight. This is a fun alternative to celebrate your child losing a tooth.
In Mongolia, baby teeth are traditionally buried near a large tree. The hope is that when the new tooth grows in it will have strong roots like the tree. Nepalese children also bury their milk teeth but for a different reason: it’s believed that if a bird eats the baby tooth a new one will not grow in its place.
Receipts and notes
If you prefer to stick with the Western tradition of the tooth fairy but are keen to create more of a ritual, why not leave a tiny receipt or note for your child? You can find printable tooth fairy receipts online, or if you’re feeling particularly creative, you can make a short rhyming note. Add a little glitter for extra magical effect. The kids will have fun reading the tiny writing in the morning.
If your kids love the tooth fairy and other magical creatures, don’t miss Dragons and Mythical Beasts Live which is one of the best family theatre shows currently touring the UK. You’ll have the chance to meet beings from the tooth fairy to a unicorn - but watch out for the dragon! Get your family theatre tickets today and enjoy some fantastic family shows from Nicoll Entertainment this summer.