Quite a few years ago I bought a Doctor’s play set for my nephew. He loved it, and carried it with him on trips to his grandparents – just in case there was a medical emergency.
Of course there always was a medical emergency. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends would need careful tending, with their temperature being checked and their heat rate taken. Even their teeth got a the once-over before sage advice to avoid sweets was offered.
Everyone would need to have their vaccinations before they were deemed healthy enough to get on with their day. A quick check of their reactions meant they stayed in tip top condition. After a while, grown ups and kids got fed up with his ministrations, but he would not be fobbed off with an inanimate teddy bear or doll to treat, they weren’t alive so he couldn’t keep them alive, silly. He moved on to my mother’s incredibly patient old dog who didn’t mind having his heart checked with a little stethoscope.
The new kit comes with a stethoscope that works, which is a step forward, I suppose, but the absence of a heart beat didn’t seem to be a problem for our little pre-school doctor and part time veterinarian. He’d still prescribe a bandage after carefully looking in his patient’s ear with his otoscope.
The latest version comes in a handy tote that works both as a doctor’s desk when in play and a handy stool seat when it’s not, so it’s much easier to play and put away. If you prefer a more traditional hard case, Fisher-Price’s Sesame Street tie-in version has one.
A good side-effect of the Doctor’s Kit is that it takes away some of the fear of trips to the doctor’s office. My nephew always took his kit with him to see if he could help, which most doctors played along with merrily.
We often joked that once he started school he’d want to study to be a veterinarian, given his hours of study on old Rover. Twenty years on, he’s half way through medical school, although he did opt for human medicine, so he never really did grow out of his little doctor’s bag.
I recently bought a kit for a friend’s toddler – who knows how that will turn out – and was surprised at just how affordable the set was. I think it’s the same price I paid 20 years ago.