My kids are always curious about their body, especially their mouth while eating and brushing their teeth! To help reinforce the important parts of the mouth, I created this DIY Mouth Puzzle!
DIY Mouth Puzzle – Why I made this for my children
A couple years ago ago, I made this puzzle for my 老大 (lǎodà / oldest child) after seeing how much she loved our felt eye puzzle.
At that time, I couldn’t find any books that showed the parts of the mouth clearly. The images in our English, Korean, and Chinese human body books were too small to satisfy her curiosity.
In addition, 老大 was starting to read but needed large font like all beginner readers. In order to teach her how to read the names of each mouth part, I wanted to make something large and easy-to-read.
This mouth puzzle was an effective, hands-on way to expand her Chinese, English, and Korean vocabulary while having fun! Make sure to check out the video of the puzzle in action at the end of the post!
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DIY Mouth Puzzle – A big hit for both of my children!
Long-time readers will remember that I first wrote this post 2 summers ago.
Now, I’m updating the post in July 2019, just in time for my 老二 (lǎo èr / second child) to try activities that his 姐姐 (jiějiě / big sister) enjoyed! He was excited to find this in my storage closet, so I set it up in our Montessori-inspired anatomy learning area!
Although this mouth anatomy puzzle took more effort and time than our typical activity, it was worth it!
Therefore, I am sharing my mouth template to save time for your family to enjoy learning with the puzzle!
In addition, the template can be enjoyed as a coloring sheet. The free printable mouth coloring sheet is available in Chinese, English, and Korean.
Mouth anatomy: Important vocabulary in Chinese / Pinyin, Korean, and English
- 嘴巴 (Zuǐbā); 입; Mouth
- 嘴唇 (Zuǐchún); 입술; Lips
- 牙龈 / 牙齦 (Yáyín); 잇몸; Gingiva, gums
- 腭 (È); 입천장; palate
- 喉咙 / 喉嚨; 목구멍; Hóulóng / throat
- 舌头 / 舌頭; 혀; Shétou / tongue
DIY mouth puzzle: what you need
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- Free printable mouth puzzle & coloring sheet template in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, English, and Korean)
- Black Sharpie marker
- Black pen
- Colorful felt – need red, dark pink, medium pink, light pink, black, and white. Note: I bought ours on Amazon, but you might be able to find a better deal and larger sizes at local craft or fabric shops.
- Piece of cardboard (recommended for durability) – we used the back of a pack of construction paper
- Optional instead of cardboard:
Recommended Chinese books about teeth brushing
This mouth puzzle would pair well with the following favorite books:
- Health Guides 影响孩子一生的健康书 – Fight Dental Bacteria 牙细菌大作战
- 牙掉了怎么办 – What Happens When Your Tooth Falls Out
- Human Body Books for Children in Chinese, English, and Korean
How to set up the Mouth Puzzle:
- Print mouth puzzle template and cut along the lines
- Trace template pieces on cardboard. This will be the base of the puzzle
- Trace template pieces on felt
- Cut felt mouth pieces
- Cut small white circles. I cut 20 circles since toddlers have 20 baby teeth.
- Label parts of mouth on cardboard
- Put the puzzle together!
- Optional: Instead of cardboard, you can print and laminate the template as the puzzle base
DIY Mouth Puzzle: Our experience
I intentionally left no instructions for the teeth as I wanted to see if 老大 could figure out how to place them.
However, I would generally recommend that you first demonstrate how to do the mouth puzzle for your child. For my son, I demonstrated each step of the puzzle, including the intentional placement of the 20 white circles (baby teeth).
DIY Mouth Puzzle: Candid photos
Here are some photos from a few years ago when my daughter was using the puzzle!
We practiced counting in Chinese and pretended that some teeth fell out!
For children who can do basic math, you can use the white circle “teeth” to practice addition and subtraction!
Both of my children’s favorite part was peeking behind the 小舌 (xiǎoshé / uvula) flap!
Reviewing Chinese mouth anatomy on our easel
I also drew the mouth on my daughter’s Melissa & Doug easel with a few sentences for reading practice.
It’s important to review new Chinese characters in different ways, and we love using the easel for its versatility in education and art!
DIY Mouth Puzzle video
Here is a video of my daughter completing the mouth puzzle!
Music credit: 五官 My Face by Kim Hsieh
Has your child learned about the parts of the mouth?
If you try the mouth puzzle and trilingual coloring sheets, let us know! We love to hear about the learning experiences of other families!
Other Educational DIY Puzzles for Children
Don’t forget to also try our easy Felt Eye Puzzle! Here’s a funny picture of my daughter combining these two puzzles!
Educational homemade puzzles for children
If you’re child likes puzzles, check out our other favorites that are easy to DIY:
- Bilingual Chinese-Korean Shape Puzzles
- Easy Craft Stick Rainbow Puzzle
- Craft Stick Puzzles – A Fun Way to Learn Color Names in Chinese!
- Paper Plate Seasons Puzzle
- Yin-Yang Paper Plate Puzzle
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