Sunday, November 23, 2008

* Is There A Doctor In Your House? Imaginative Doctor Role Play For Kids

My 5 and half year old, (Dr.) Frog Princess loves to play doctor. Anybody who enters our home is a potential patient. We have daily surgical dramas taking place in the kitchen, on the coffee table, the playroom floor, and of course in her room. She is not your average 5 year old, she is a mini walking Merck manual and enjoys throwing around words like "Stat", "Gall bladder" (her favorite body part) and "Decapitate"

For example: "Mommy I need some oatmeal for breakfast - STAT!" or... "Mom... I pooped, can you come wipe me? - STAT!"... "Mom, that angel (at Home Goods this weekend) is decapitated!" And yes, several old ladies, looked up from their scouring of Christmas paraphernalia, turned around and stared at both of us when she let that one drop.

When she turned 5 last March we took her to Toys R' Us to get her special birthday balloon, P.A. announcement, and discounted gift coupon. Out of all of the dolls, dress-up clothing, trains, art supplies, board games, etc. she picked out the Discovery Channel dissect a frog kit (for ages 8 and up) with life like gooey organs and dissecting tools. It's her favorite. We got a few raised eye brows for that one too.

Dr. Frog Princess loves playing doctor so much she's getting a wheel chair for one of her dolls this Christmas. One of the highlights of her year so far was when our friend, Dr. Don, visited for a Sunday brunch before having to catch a plane back to his day job as an ER doctor in the Southern United States. During his brief visit they dissected the frog princess' fake frog, inspected many bark and leaf specimens under her microscope, and performed some emergency procedures on a few dolls, stuffed animals, and each other. He promised her he'd try to hook her up with some empty saline IV bags (without the needles of course) and some more of her favorite purple surgical gloves. She has elaborate plans for her birthday party this year. We'll be converting the bottom level of the house into a hospital but more on that in a later post. Her birthday's not until March.

If you have a mini doctor in the house like I do, I highly recommend supplementing their plastic equipment arsenal with a few more props like ACE bandages, a real working stethoscope, an ear scope, popsicle sticks, white pom-pons to serve as cotton balls (they hold up better to multiple procedures), medicine "syringes" like the kind they give you with Amoxicillin from the drug store, a mask, surgical gloves, etc. White masking tape and old strips of fabric make great casts and bandages. If you're feeling really generous you can always get a set of mini scrubs or a lab coat. You never know, they just might grow up to take care of you someday.

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