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Brushing of teeth became popular after the performance of “Karius and Bactus”

On Sunday, 26 February 2017, the children of substitute homes and shelters of Tallinn, Harju County, Tartu, Pärnu, Ida-Viru County and Viljandi County, visited the Tartu Theatre House to see the children’s musical “Karius and Bactus”. After that, some time was also spent in the Toy Museum, where the older children participated in the excursion while the younger children simply enjoyed playing.

The theatre visit was eagerly anticipated

There is probably no theatre enthusiast in the history of Estonia who has waited for a theatre visit as much as three-year-old Kaisa, who lives in Tartu. From the moment she heard about the upcoming performance, going to the theatre became her favourite topic. “We are going to camp!” she shrieked many times during the week, running happily around the house. The word “camp” was probably easier for her to say than the tongue twister “theatre”. 

Residents of the Safe House for Mother and Child in Tallinn were also looking forward to the Sunday theatre visit. The book “Karius and Bactus” was borrowed from the library, which was then read to the children by the mothers. 

There was a surprisingly calm atmosphere at Tartu Käopesa on Sunday morning, and, by the way, the level of interest in the theatre was inversely proportional to the children’s age: the younger the child, the bigger the enthusiasm! Going to the theatre was special for many of them. For example, one three-year-old girl got to ride a city bus for the first time. 

The children of Tudulinna were talking in the bus about how they had properly brushed their teeth in the morning, so no bacteria would live in there. On their way to Tartu, children from Viljandi engaged in a discussion of who Karius and Bactus are.

The performance was funny and nerve-racking

At the beginning of the performance, the smallest toddler from Tartu sat on the lap of Marili, her family’s parent. She wrapped her arm around her even tighter, as she admired the skipping tooth trolls, while holding her breath at the same time. At the same time, she was afraid of the beasts: she did not dare to take a picture with the troll monsters.

The performance of “Karius and Bactus” was full of singing and dancing. The children got to shout along and laugh heartily. They shrieked when Karius and Bactus started to cry real tears and water was sprayed on the children sitting in the hall. After the performance, the audience was made aware of which button should be pushed in order for the actors to get teary-eyed. 

Jakob from Viljandi promised her educator, already during the performance, that he will now brush his teeth even more often than before. 

Kirill, who came to the theatre from Ida-Viru County, was at first afraid of the music, but he calmed down when he was sitting on his educator’s lap, and climbed back into his seat later to watch the performance. The role of asking for autographs was this time given to Jegor, who was very proud that he was able to hold the new book before all the other children and ask for the actors’ signatures.

Tõnu from Pärnu was frightened from the very first moment of the performance and already at the beginning asked when it would be over. “To be completely honest, then old Volkonski managed to frighten the adults as well, not to mention the children,” mused foster parent Triin. After the performance, Tõnn gathered his courage and went to ask for an autograph. But when the toothless Karius showed his ugly smile, Tõnn’s courage and interest towards autographs disappeared.

After the performance they went to the museum

There was a lot of joy of discovery for the children in the Toy Museum. The older children recognised Burantino, Sipsik and Metsamoor. Shadow theatre was especially interesting for the children, and they tried to do it themselves as well. 

The younger children spent most of their time in the play room at the museum. Legos and a model train seemed the most interesting for them. There were two surprising things in the children’s behaviour: there were no arguments between them and no one had to remind them that the toys had to be put back in their place. After playing, they looked around a little and gazed at the old toys. It was interesting for the educator to share memories about the toys that she used to play with as a child.

While the smallest toddlers from Pärnu were still spending time in the play room, the older children were taking part in the excursion, where Renee stood out with his knowledge and Jaana was amazed by what she saw. Before leaving, the guide said that Renee was his favourite and he was interested in where such smart children come from.

At the museum, the children from Tallinn were using the opportunity to be an actor themselves, to play with puppets and make their own performance. Older children were interested in the excursion, while the younger children liked playing shadow theatre the most and sitting in the small egg shell.

Instructive day

The small theatre lovers from Tartu all gathered in the bathroom at once after dinner, where they carefully brushed their teeth, so Karius and Bactus could not party in their mouth. 

The children from Harju County also learned from the theatre that teeth should be brushed. One boy with special needs said that he does not want to brush his teeth anymore since he would like to meet the real Karius and Bactus. At this point, the other children were explaining that teeth should still be brushed, otherwise it will hurt a lot later. Arriving home at night, the children listened to the story of “Karius and Bactus” as a bedtime story and they also wanted to see the pictures that were drawn in the book. 

The children from Viljandi talked about what they had seen at the museum, and the songs and dances from the performance, while driving home. Everyone spent time studying the copy of the book they received as a present and recognised the activities and characters seen in the theatre. When they arrived home, Sander immediately ran to brush his teeth and look for bad guys in between his teeth.

The children from Pärnu were all very tired on their way home, but at the same time, they were talking about uncles, who live in their teeth. The children from Tallinn went to a store in Tartu, before driving back, but did not want anything sweet from there, because now they knew what sweet things could do to their teeth. Some children were making jokes in the bus about who has a Karius and who has a Bactus in their mouth. They were all, at the same time, talking about who went to the dentist in the summer for a check-up and how some also went back later to have cavities fixed. Mihhial confirmed that if one brushes their teeth properly every day, then Karius and Bactus will not appear in their mouth.

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