Liam has always enjoyed some sort of pretend play. He has always been interested in interactions between people and he enjoys interacting with another person much more than he enjoys interacting with toys. Wonderful and tough at the same time, since it has become increasingly difficult to be a constant playmate these days! The next best thing is his stuffed animals. He loooovvveeeesss stuffed animals. I imagine he will never have to many and I hope he enjoys their magic for as long as possible!
His therapist has been trying to show him how he can use the animals for pretend play instead of us. He can make them talk to one another, have parties, play hide and seek, whatever his mind can imagine. This of course is difficult because as we know mommy and daddy can make those animals talk pretty well! He would be happy to sit on his bed with one of us and make up a story with nothing more than the animals and a blanket and of course one of us! Hoping to expand this great play skill he already has and seems to enjoy, I decided to set up a pretend play center for him to care for his beloved animals.
I am not sure how the whole idea evolved to make a veterinary center but he had been asking for dress up costumes lately and his little play doctor kit was out. I put two and two together and there you go! I had a coupon for 40% off at A.C. Moore and decided to get him a doctor’s costume. Glad they had it. I would have been very disappointed. He was so proud to walk through the mall carrying it too. So many smiles from people. Once in the car, he happily stared at it the whole way home. Made a quick stop at the dollar store for some bandages and a pet food bowl! Wait till you see this!
Yes, we still have his baby changing pad and it is finally coming in handy. One of those things you think you need but realize you really don’t. However, it makes a great pretend play exam room table! We like these low tables for play. It puts Liam at a more comfortable height and makes everything just his size.
Bandages, band aids, cotton balls, medicine dispencers, and pet food bowl for hungry and thirsty animals are great for extending play. The pill bottle is of course empty and actually left over from our beloved (not with us anymore) Alaskan Malamute.
Every doctor needs a chart and signs to point the way. I had my husband bring the white board down and I bought some crayola dry erase crayons. He is forever leaving the caps off the markers and if I don’t get to them right away, they all dry out and it’s a waste! The charts were a lovely find from Mess For Less (here).
The doctor is in and he will see you now! Already a full waiting room and they are all busy enjoying the books my son picked out for them to look at while they waited. Who’s first? Polar Bear of course. This is Liam’s most beloved animal. The one and only that must travel wherever we go. He is a bit tired looking, grey instead of white and his stuffing has greatly shifted inside his little body. Guess it’s time for a check up then!
Ears look healthy!
Heart sounds good!
I think he needs a bandaid!
All better sweet little polar bear. Just a note that Polar Bear has a new purple bandaid on today and has been checked out numerous times since! Here’s a few more sweet pictures with my little doctor and his animals.
I love how he carefully cares for his animals and wanted to make them all feel better and be healthy. Oh did I mention? I was the nurse of course. I handled the charts and he relayed the information for me to check off. The nature of the chart and the various questions helped him develop a routine for each animal with a beginning and an end but in a pretend, free play environment. A little bit of both worlds for Liam and a fun afternoon for the family!
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