Playing Doctor

I love the pre-formed bandaid and the otoscope.

I love the pre-formed bandaid and the otoscope.

Recently, I was asked whether it was appropriate for kids to play doctor. You know the game where one kid is the sick kid and one the doctor. I’m not even going down the path of the “playing doctor.” Get yer mind out of the gutter, people!

So, back to playing doctor. Is it an inappropriate activity? I thought about it for a split second. Here are my thoughts:

– My daughter received the Fisher Price Doctor Kit when she was 2.

– The Dr. Kit became a favorite toy with all three children.

– I recently retired the Dr. Kit to the keepsake box. Two weeks later a child asked for it and now it is back in play.

– A favorite game for my husband to play was “Doctor.” He would lie/sleep on the couch while the kids examined him. As long as nothing was placed directly in his ear canal, eye, or mouth, he was happy. The kids got to play with Daddy, while Daddy recovered from a long day of work.

– To the best of my knowledge, kids who came over to play did not want to play doctor.

I believe that children need to do make believe play with doctor’s kits, toy kitchens, tool benches, dress-ip clothes. Make believe play is a healthy way for kids to learn about the world around them. Playing doctor allows a child to feel empathy for someone else. My kids love to get bandaids and first aid supplies for injured family members or friends.

In my childhood, my sister and I had limited toys as we moved constantly from the U.K. to the U.S., back to the U.K., back to the U.S. and finally back to the U.K. When our furniture/belongings were trapped in a container ships en route to our new home we always played doll hospital.

The doll hospital game required: 3 to 4 dolls, several small blankets and pillows, a doctor’s kit, and a small doll food set. We would set up the dolls in front of my grandmother’s fireplace (not in) and play for hours. The dolls were a tragic, malingering bunch who always had terrible symptoms and indeterminate ailments. 

What do you think about kids playing docotr? Leave a comment.

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