One of the things I love most about being a mom is watching my kids play. I love to see them dress up and watch where their imaginations take them. Pretend play is such a magical and important part of childhood and learning.
Last month I hosted my four-year-olds preschool co-op group. We learned all about the letter V. After talking about what words start with V and having vegetables for a snack the fun really started. Each child was given a badge (I printed off these adorable ones from Kids Activities Blog) and a stethoscope and became a veterinarian for the morning. We talked about what a veterinarian is and what a veterinarian does (I thought this clip from Sesame Street was perfect). I set up part of the house to be a make-believe veterinarian clinic. We had a waiting room with chairs and an exam room stocked with bandages and medical instruments to take care of hurt animals. We sorted all the sick animals (my children all donated their stuffed animals for the morning for us to use) and graphed them to see how many we had of each (to squeeze some math learning in there) and then the kids got to take turns caring for the animals. I printed out these dramatic play veterinarian clinic printables for each little veterinarian to use. They took temperatures, listened to heart beats, pulled splinters, gave shots, and wrapped up sore paws.
My group of four year olds had so much fun playing animal doctor!
Listening to a heart beat . . .
Filling out paper work . . .
This little puppy must have had a really sore paw. I think he got every bandage in the room wrapped around it!
The kids loved having their own name badge and stethoscope to play with and take home. They were so simple to put together too. I picked up a pack of six headbands from the dollar store, cut 12 circles from felt and six hearts, and found some ribbon scraps from my stash.
I sandwiched the ribbon between two felt circles, glued them all together along with heart on the top circle.
The top of the ribbon got hot glued around the center of the headband. I also wrapped and glued the ends of the the headband with some felt so little ears were safe from getting poked. I noticed that the kids preferred to keep the stethoscope around their neck though--they didn't really put it up to their ears.
Here's the whole batch. These could make a fun party favor for a Doc McStuffins party or something similar.
And one more bit of important information . . .
I wanted to tell you about this absolutely adorable book I found at my library while searching for children's books about veterinarians. I really wish I had found it before I had all my preschool preparations done. It's called Teddy Bear Doctor.
I was blown away with how clever and thought out this book was. It is packed full of creative ideas that will help your child create their own make-believe vet practice. The book starts out with projects for your child to make a "pet vet kit". It teaches them how to make a thermometer, syringe, stethoscope, and lab coat using everyday household items. The book then walks them through creating a waiting room, exam room, and recovery room. And my most favorite part of the book is found in the back. There you will find stickers and removable pages to aid your child in creating all the projects in the book. There are also patient check-in forms, appointment cards, exam checklists, and prescription forms. This book has it all! And it is all oh-so-cute!
A copy of Teddy Bear Doctor paired with a new plush toy would make such a fun gift! It's only $4.79 on Amazon right now. For that price you might as well get two copies . . . or three!
So how can you enter to win? Simply leave a comment here on the blog or on our Facebook page telling us who you would love to share this book with.
Giveaway ends May 7, 2016
Don't want to wait to win? Pick up a copy here.