At age 2 or 3, young children begin engaging in pretend play. Pretend play can instantly transform a child into a princess at a ball or a super hero fighting bad guys with a stick that they call their magic sword.
I try to encourage my children’s pretend play as often as I can. It sparks imagination and creativity. Pretend play also helps them learn about the world around them while also improving their language and problem-solving skills.
My daughter loves taking care of her baby dolls. She pretends to feed them, change their diapers, and bathe them.
Recently she found a box of bandages and an old medicine cup and started pretending to be a doctor for her baby dolls. I decided to make a doctor kit for her. Kids don’t need a lot of props to participate in pretend play but a few basic things from around the house can make playtime even more fun. Here are some of the supplies we gathered:
- disposable gloves from the garage
- a pink ace bandage
- a craft stick for a tongue depressor
- an old medicine syringe that the pharmacy had given use to dispense infant medicine
- an empty travel size bottle for pretend medicine
- a lonely unused bulb suction
- a medicine cup
- an infant thermometer
- cotton swabs
- a pill box (filled with little candies)
- clear cosmetic bag for her doctor bag
I also scanned a tube of Neosporin then printed the picture, laminated it, and cut it out along the edges. I also found some pictures of x-rays on the Internet that I printed and laminated. She absolutely loves her x-rays and they were so easy to make!
Finally, I used a basic word document program to make a bunch of prescription forms for the little doctor to fill out for her patients. I found the Rx image online and a little clipboard and pen finished it off.
My little girl is so proud of her special doctor kit. She uses her play kitchen as her doctor office and she takes extra good care of her patients.
For some more fun ways to encourage pretend play in your children, check out these posts from the Quirky Mommas: