Monday 15 February 2016


We are about to enter tooth fairy territory. The only snag is that school boy has his first wobbly tooth when he's fast approaching the age of eight. He's not entirely convinced about the concept. "So can the tooth fairy lift a pillow even with my head sleeping on it?" He is a practical, scientific and enquiring boy. Already he has his own ideas about Santa.

However, he has two younger sisters, and another sibling on the way. We need to tread carefully here. Even though I don't want to undermine his enquiring mind, there are others who believe wholeheartedly in fairies and magic.

While I don't mind providing him money in exchange for the tooth, I wondered if there were some other ways to approach this topic. I remember that when I was about his age that part of me didn't believe in such things any more but another part of me wanted to believe too. And when I overheard a grown-up say something at Christmas-time, I was a little crushed.

I've done a little research and found a great book - Throw Your Tooth on the Roof. It's about how other cultures deal with this rite of passage. Apparently, children in Botswana don't put their tooth under the pillow, they throw it on the roof, while in Egypt they throw it at the sun. There are quite a few books about that deal with the topic, but they seem to cater more to a younger age group, and while I did consider doing a "tooth" book-type calendar (something similar to our Advent book calendar), I've ruled it out due to age appropriateness.

Below are some ideas I have found in relation to those who want to offer something other than money from tooth fairies. 

Alternate ideas to giving money
* Create a bracelet and get a new charm from the tooth fairy for every tooth. 
* Fairy treasure: items that sparkly.
* Fairy wings that get new decorations/ornaments for each tooth.
* While this idea is quite involved - it is also quite cool - for every tooth, the child receives an animal's tooth in return. However, to take it to another level, the tooth comes in a glitter bath with a note written backwards and the child has to read the clue in a mirror and guess the animal. As a simpler version, I like the child getting a clue and going on a treasure hunt to find their "gift/treasure/money". I'm tempted to combine this idea with traditions from around the world, as stated in the book above.

There are also tooth fairy pillows that you can buy (pictured above) and make. Plus, report cards from the fairy recording which tooth was lost, the date and quality of it. Many of these are now on our Tooth Fairy Pinterest board

I'd love to hear how any of you have broached this subject with older children - even on the Santa question too. 


  1. These different ideas are great ones! We are pretty traditional, but we try to make it more personal than just leaving money. The tooth fairy leaves a tiny little letter sealed in a tiny envelope (fairy scale!) that includes a little update and encouragement for keeping those teeth sparkling clean. We also leave a trail of fairy dust (glitter) under their pillow, and all the siblings get "fairy kissed" with glitter too. We leave a very small amount of money as well, but the letter and glitter is exciting for everyone. Our eldest just turned eight, and we had a discussion around Christmas about choosing whether or to believe in the magic of Santa Claus, and how that belief is very personal and private. We reminded her of her responsibility to help keep the magic alive for the little ones who do believe, even if she chooses not to believe herself. Ella still chooses to be a believer of all things magical, but I'm grateful that we cleared the air, and that she gets to be a part of making the magic as a big sister.

    1. Thanks Lesley for sharing. I know some children start losing teeth at age four, and it's such a different proposition then. It's interesting to hear how people deal with these milestones. Love your idea. Thanks again.