Grade K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, High School

Economics & the Tooth Fairy?

Gwyneth white space croppedEconomics. Kids really do care about it. Not convinced? Just think about their expectations of the Tooth Fairy.

Kids supply a tooth and expect (demand) a treat or cash in return.

Dig a bit deeper into this basic exchange and you will find a friendly version of Economics 101 that kids can really sink their teeth into.

Why bother digging deeper with kids? Well…

What concepts can kids – of any age, btw – actually explore with tooth fairies?

  • supply & demand
  • value
  • the ‘invisible hand’
  • rational expectations
  • fair trade
  • opportunity cost

And then there’s the metacognition & critical thinking involved in exploring how fairies and kids can work together for the greater good.

Kids won’t read Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. How are they supposed to explore these topics?

So glad you asked.

  1. Home Grown Option:
    1. Seek definitions for the bullet list terms. Any dictionary will do. Of course Adam Smith (see link above) has a lot to offer, too.
    2. ‘Translate’ the terms to suit your kids/students when discussing tooth fairy lore. No need to do it all at once…just weave the ideas in when opportunity knocks.
  2. Ready Made Option*:  I offer a short story called The Tooth Fairy Conference. The main character, Gwyneth is pictured above. This is her nemesis, Plaque Man.PLAQUE MAN finals - Copy Creepy, right?

While out collecting one night, Gwyneth discovers Plaque Man is wreaking havoc on the fairy worlds’ supply of pristine teeth. She finds smeary notes declaring things like, “Eat candy in bed; you’ll have sweet dreams” and “Need more sleep? Skip flossing.”  So Gwyneth collects brainy & brawny help at the Fluoride Foundation’s Tooth Fairy Conference to extract this gunky skunk with dental and mental derring-do.

Here is The Tooth Fairy Conference short story. You also can get this accompanying lesson:  What Colors the Things You Value?

*There is a small fee for these ready-made options.

FREE coloring pages of Gwyneth and Plaque Man are here.





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