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Ideas & Tools for Dramatic Play

This week started off with routine doctor appointments for the kids, which also meant routine shots.  To say I wasn’t looking forward to it is an understatement.  I had visions of one kiddo watching the other scream in pain only to find out (from me) that they were next on the hot seat.  In the end, though, it turned out to be a rather benign experience.

 

Ironically, my saving grace was C falling down and scraping his knee the day before.  The cut was so minor that I didn’t really think much of it.  At bedtime I told C we’d be going to the doctor the next day and he replied, “Oh, she can fix my knee”.  I grabbed that concept and ran with it – and so did C.

 

He flashed his injured limb to anyone and everyone at the office that day (the receptionist, the nurse, the doctor… even the resident fish got a peek).  When it was time for the dreaded S-H-O-T I simply told C that the nurse was going to take a look at his knee and fix it.  He teared up a bit but all and all he kept a brave face and we made it through.  This, in turn, was a wonderful model for S and she only screamed for about 10 seconds before getting distracted by something shiny in the office.

 

So why am I going on about all this?  Because the experience made me realize how much kids absolutely love dramatic play involving injuries, medicine and doctors.  C was so engaged in playing the role of injured patient that he was willing to endure the shots for the big pay off – a shiny new Band Aid.Along with calming pediatrician office anxiety, playing doctor also gives kids the chance to experiment with complex emotions like vulnerability, power, and empathy.  Plus there’s some basic anatomy lessons to boot.  All of that has led to today’s “playing doctor” roundup.  Read on for all kinds of toys, games and DIY projects to add to your little one’s medical bag.

 

Pictured up top is a lovely and modern Wooden Doctor Set from Anthropologie (who would have thought?).  For the basics, Haba makes two nice looking play kits: the Doctor’s Kit and the Doctor’s Medical Kit.

If you want to go all out, this Melissa & Doug deluxe role play set comes equipped with a lab coat and face mask, a stethoscope with sound effects, a reflex hammer, an otoscope, a syringe, a name tag for personalizing, and an additional 19 piece doctor’s kit.
If DIY props are more your thing, ohdeedoh recently featured a DIY play doctor kit as well as these super cool DIY X-rays.


Also, don’t miss these bone gloves (perfect for the doctor-in-training) or these clever fake casts.

And speaking of doctors-in-training, every good pretend doc needs to know their anatomy.  These body part nomenclature cards are perfect for studying up.
This book doctor activity is a fun twist on the traditional playing doctor set-up (found via Childhood 101‘s playopedia).


Finally, this simple doctor office match game is a fun way to teach kids about the various tools doctors use.

Similar Stuff:
10 Incredible Set Ups for Dramatic Play
Kits for Kids
Build Dramatic Play and Fine Motor Skills with a Wooden Work Bench

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kellie (minimusthave) July 13, 2011 at 10:24 am

Great ideas Steph. As a teacher I love dramatic play and the learning experiences it gives kids. The Doctor’s Kit is definitely popular in my house!

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Steph at ModernParentsMessyKids.com July 13, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Kellie,

My oldest is just starting to get interested in dramatic play. I can’t wait to set him up a dress up station :).

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