Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Playing doctors for free (or encouraging universal healthcare)

This month’s intentional play theme is health, not just about maintaining a healthy body but about caring for sick people and treating illness and injury. I’ve already put my ranty-pants on this month in response to the announcement of our Federal budget and the introduction of a co-pay to see a healthcare provider, so I’ve been trying to find more positive ways to channel that fury. What better way than teaching the next generation to do better and be better – to be more caring to those in need and to make that care available for free.

So I’ve been playing bulk-billing GP with my sweet Dear Boy, helping him tend to his sick and injured babies. "Baby", wearing the tiny clothes that he once wore himself, has chronic sore knees that require bandaids and broken legs that require bandages. He also has dry skin, just like my Dear Boy, and needs to have cream rubbed in to help make it better. But we’re also all about the preventative medicine in this household and are doing regular check-ups to make sure all else is ship-shape in Baby’s life.

I had a look at the available toys for playing doctors and was sorely disappointed with the options. Hooray for the Doc McStuffins line amidst the sea of pink satin and lace in the dress-ups aisle, but I wasn’t particularly keen on purchasing a full outfit of tights and headband to get him a doctor’s coat and stethoscope. GPs don’t need lab coats anyways. So instead I put together a little doctor’s bag for Dear Boy, raiding our medicine cupboard and popping all the odds and ends into an unused bathroom bag.

Doctor's Kit, Toy Doctor, Medical Kit, Universal Healthcare

Here’s the list of what I had handy and that he uses on a daily basis to care for the sick and injured of the house:

  • Bandaids and fabric plasters that can be cut to size
  • Travel-size liquids bottles for ‘medicine’
  • Measuring cup
  • Thermometer
  • Syringes of various sizes (no needles, der)
  • Medical tape
  • Bandage (with clip – watch the sharp edges)
  • Medical gloves
  • Battery-operated candles (Carols by Candlelight remnants for a torch or ‘otoscope’)
  • Ear bud headphones for a ‘stethoscope’
  • Lip balm for ‘cream’ (not pictured)
He wasn’t sure what to make of it when he first saw the kit and his dolls in the green box I use for our monthly themed toys and books. He rifled through the bag a few times and wandered away, but then surprised me when, after his own dose of ‘medicine’ for a cold (olive leaf extract), he wanted to give Baby some to make him feel better too. Now I’m issued directives to give Baby a cuddle while he measures out the medicine or prepares the bandage or checks his eyes, ears, nose and throat. Of course nothing beats a good cuddle to help make the toys feel better, but hearing the phrase “pupils equal and reactive” coming out his mouth makes my heart sing just a little bit.

Now that we’ve borrowed a copy of Miffy Goes to Hospital from the library, I think we’ll be shifting to an emergency medicine specialty as a registrar before heading on over to dentistry.


  1. I love this. I love all of this. I suspect there will be a couple of dollies around here that need some assistance from two very eager young kiddos ;)

    1. Yes, the poor dolls are in the wars over here. We also seem to be at the epicentre of a massive outbreak of "not feeling good" that requires much medicine. We're trying very hard to impart to Dear Boy that medicine can only be given in the proper doses and not every five minutes.

  2. Oh sooo cute. My oldest boy was mad on playing Drs as a munchkin and even at 12 he still wanted to become a Dr. I LOVE the playing bulk billing lol xx

    1. It's really interesting how much he gets into caring for his "babies" but we'll see if he stays interested for 12 years! He hasn't yet offered to wrap me in bandages - for which I am very grateful.


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