This morning we had a blast with some pretend play. It took just a few minutes to gather some simple supplies that has provided hours of entertainment for my girls. I got their little doctor kit (bought a couple of years ago from Kroger for $5...has been a much beloved toy in this house!), grabbed some princess stickers, Candy Land Band-Aids, ice pack, gauze, and a small clipboard. I made little check lists to go on the clipboard. Then we made a waiting room in our living room complete with Highlights magazines. A corner of the kitchen was set-up like a doctor's office. A table, lamp, toy computer, doll bed, stool (for the doctor to sit on), and an ottoman (for the patient to sit on).
|Some of our supplies. And yes, I realize I am not the best artist, but the girls loved their little check list.|
|Our doctor's office.|
|The girls in the waiting room ready to be called back.|
|We all took turns being the doctor, nurse, and patient. Here is Dr. Rowynn examining Mr. Froggie.|
|Getting his shot.|
|Mr. Froggie had to get a shot so he got a sticker for being a bravie froggie. And of course he got a frog sticker!|
|Nurse Finley asking RoRo has she is feeling.|
|Looking in her eyes.|
|Dr. Finley examining her patient, Rose.|
|Dr. Finley informed me that Rose had hurt her leg on the playground when she slid down the slide. Haha, love her imagination!|
|Since Rose broke her leg we had to wrap it in a cast.|
|Which meant that Finley wanted her leg wrapped too.|
|Finley using the ice pack on her sore leg.|
I love this activity for so many reasons. First of all, pretend play is sooooooooooooooo important for toddlers/preschoolers. It let's them step in someone else's shoes and use their imagination to be anything they want to be!
It also increases vocabulary. We used words and phrases like, "Hello, how are you feeling today?" and "Can you tell me what hurts?" or "Once you get this shot you will be much better." "I'm just going to listen to your heart now." and "How did you hurt your leg?" Great communication skills for both of the girls.
Pretend play also teaches problem solving skills. What's wrong? How do I fix it? Pretend play is essential for little ones.
Environments that support and encourage that are so important. And don't just lock your kid in a room with a bunch of toys. Play with them. Model for them. Introduce new ideas and phrases. I love playing with my girls...yes, sometimes it gets tiring, but just remember there is going to come a time when they will not want to be with you every second of the day; when you won't be their #1 play mate.
This activity is also great for any kid who may be afraid of the doctor. My girls haven't ever shown much fear, but if your child has anxiety about going to the doctor's office, engage in some pretend play!
I also like that this activity encouraged some basic nurturing skills. They had to take care of one another and really listen to find out what was going on.