Children’s imaginative play is more than fun, learning, and kindergarten readiness, and might be giving us glimpses of what kids will choose as adults. Last week, blog posts were inspired by some famous adults and what they played with as children. A mathematician played with numbers, a design engineer liked drawing, a crafter loved to create things, and a scientist played with her toys by taking them apart. A good question then, is what other kinds of play and toys are fun for kids and might reflect what grownups do?
A favorite toy for children is often a medical kit. Kids of various ages love to pretend with the thermometer, the stethoscope, the toy needle, and real bandages. They will treat their dolls, stuffies, friends, and brothers and sisters. Oh, and their parents and caregivers. With kids, there are visits to the doctor and sometimes the hospital, so supporting this kind of play also helps them deal with real situations. This type of play is a way for kids to process their experiences and their emotions. They are trying out those roles and it seems like some of the time, they stick.
A friend of mine, Martha Sanchez, is a nurse. As a child, she played with dolls and the doctor Barbie. She was a guest on a Learn and Play with Mrs. A radio show to talk about young kids and health concerns. For a play-of-the-day, your child might enjoy some pretending and imagining with medical toys. A piece of stiff paper or a straw can substitute as a thermometer. Kids will come up with their own ideas of what they need and what they can use. These 3 straws make a stethoscope to “hear the baby’s breathing.” How is everyone feeling today?