Medical prop box
(from the Mister Rogers' Plan and Play Book)
When children play about things, they have a chance to rehearse their feelings and get ready for that experience. When they play afterwards, they can better manage their feelings about what happened.
- Stuffed animals or dolls
- Long strips of white fabric and masking tape to use as bandages
- A box of bandaids
- Cotton balls
- Paper face masks
- Reflex hammer
- An empty spool from thread strung on yarn for a stethoscope
- A ball point pen that has a “clicker” on top (with the cartridge removed for pretend injections
- One or two old white shirts for medical smocks
- Tongue depressors
- Toy or real medical instuments such as a stethescope
- Box for the above medical play props
Have any of the children been to a doctor’s office recently? What happened there? Did any of them feel afraid? How did they feel afterwards? Were they able to talk with anyone about how they felt?
See if the children would like to pretend that several of the dolls (or stuffed animals) are sick or hurt and need someone to help them get better.
Ask them what kinds of things they would do. How would they treat the patients? If you store all the medical materials together in a box, the children will be able to use them on their own when they feel like it. You may want to bring this prop box out on a day when a child talks about going to the doctor.
Bandaids can be fascinating to young children. They don’t understand how their bodies work, and they may be scared that a needle prick will make all their blood flow out. Bandaids give them a way to cover up the puncture, so the blood stays in their body. You might even find some children plastering bandaids all over themselves!
The Mister Rogers' Plan and Play Book
Home and center-based child care providers, preschool teachers, early childhood educators, and parents alike will appreciate these meaningful activities for learning through play.
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