Saturday, August 16, 2014

Imagination Station - Let's Play "Veterinarian"!

Wow, it has been a busy summer! Our apologies for the lack of posts lately!

This summer Miss Kristie and I launched an exciting new play center called the "Imagination Station." In June the theme was a pretend 'library' - see our post about that here.

In July we shook things up a bit with a new theme - a Veterinarian's office!
Yes, those are felt letters, and yes, we were unscrambling them at the end of every day. Why is felt so tempting to little fingers?

This was surprisingly easy to throw together - we had a lot of the materials we needed already, and made the rest.  Here are some of the things we included:
-a lab coat and pretend glasses
-animal puppets and stuffed animals
-a pretend doctor's kit (I brought this in from home)
-animal x-rays (printed from Google Images and laminated)
-a doctor's "prescription pad"

Here was our set-up. You can see we've only dedicated a small space to this play center, but it really works!

The table:

And the "waiting room," complete with magazines :o)

Why, hello, little Chipmunk. May I have the blood pressure cuff, please?

Miss Kristie made these "band-aids" out of - you guessed it - felt! They were perfect for sticking to our stuffed animals without the sticky mess of real band-aids.

X-rays are easy to find online, and are actually really interesting to look at:
And our laminator turned them green. No one seemed to notice.

Another felt creation - our doctor's bag actually got ripped apart after a week or two, but the kids continued to play with it. We were just too busy to fix it!

Doctor name tags and prescriptions (we went through a lot of these):

A little inspiration for the kids which they did NOT need! They went to town playing without any suggestions from us boring adults!

Here are some families checking out the new play center:

(and someone's big sister is wearing the lab coat!)

I found these prescriptions after some kids left one day:
1) Snowflake - eat lots of carrots
2) Mr. Owl - take medicine
3) Captain Jumpsalot - Take medicine twice a day,
before bed and after breakfast

Kids have such awesome imaginations! It has been so much fun to watch them play, especially when their parents and older siblings join in! Several times now I have heard a parent say, "Let's go play at the Imagination Station" [instead of playing on the computers], and their children excitedly say, "Okay!!" How great is that? Not only are we bringing ECRR2 more directly into our patrons' lives (one of the five practices is "play"), but we have really opened a door here. We have created a safe place for families to play together and to communicate with one another. And all it took was some felt, some toys, and a little imagination. :o)