For the last couple of years I've set up dramatic play areas for Minnie to explore around the home. We've had a variety of play set ups including a Shoe Shop, Ice-Cream Stand, Bakery, Post Office, Desert Island, & Tea Rooms, all of which have been a big hit! Each play area uses items gathered from around the house or collected from charity shops, & hasn't taken long to put together. We leave each area up for a couple of weeks, or longer if Minnie is still involved with them, & put them to one side of the room once she's gone to bed. (However much I love the play areas, I don't really want to be sat in the middle of one come the evening!)
Recently she asked for a Doctors Surgery so with a little hunt around the house here's what we pulled together.
For a welcome/reception desk we used: an old phone, & children's medical reference books which we borrowed from the library. We added pens along with some basic sheets for appointments & prescriptions that I put together on the computer.
For the Pharmacy Area we added: a toy medical kit with thermometer & stethoscope, an empty first aid box (which I filled with cotton wool, bandages, & sticking plasters), spoons of various sizes, a selection of empty (& clean) medicine bottles & boxes, surgical gloves, wet wipes, & giant tweezers.
For our Doctor I added a clipboard (for all those important medical notes), a stylish pair of glasses, & a white doctors coat.
An important part of any surgery is the waiting room, so we set this one up with table & chairs, along with some of Minnie's favourite books & comics.
Minnie added this Vet's set with a beanbag for any children who may be waiting nearby!
I added a 'Card Corner' so Minnie was free to design Get Well Cards (or any other cards) for the patients. This simple set up offered an opportunity to encourage drawing & writing, & extended her role play further.
We have a limited number of dolls beds & cradles, so to cope with the growing number of patients we created extra beds using cushions & folded blankets. The occupants seemed more than happy!
There have been a plethora of conditions, ranging from a frog in the throat, buzzy tummy, broken eye, & of course many broken arms & legs which have all been lovingly bandaged up by Dr Minnie! The treatment for 'frog in the throat' at this Surgery was Calpol! What a wonder that medicine is! ;-)
Here's Dr. Minnie just waiting for that phone to ring!
As she recorded all her many appointments she wrote down & discussed with me the patients name, date & time. This offered opportunities to discuss the days of the week, months of the year, time of day (morning, afternoon, evening) & how long each appointment would take. It was also a neat opportunity to practise letter & number formation. Adding the phone encouraged some great imaginative play, & it was fascinating to observe her imaginary conversations, & use of language.
It's been wonderful to see her fully absorbed in this play setup, & how her play has evolved. She's explored size & shape as she's chosen bandages, spoons, beds etc that are appropriate for the size of the patient! Though it did mean that I got the biggest sticking plaster!! She's also displayed feelings of concern & empathy towards her sick
dolls patients & adapted her body language & voice to various scenarios.
This mini Doctors Surgery / Hospital has sparked so much imaginative play, creativity, & storytelling. I'm sure it won't be long before it's set up again ready for a whole new set of scenarios to be played out.