"Bup bup bup bup bup bup," says Matthew as he puts the stethoscope on Elizabeth. He also likes to listen to my heart and his teddy bear's heart. This photo was taken when Matthew was 34 months old.
The doctor play kit serves two main purposes:
1. To encourage language through fun pretend play.
2. To encourage better cooperation from him at doctor visits.
He's usually trying to grab the stethoscope or fighting us when the doctor wants to look in his mouth or ears.
I have to admit, getting him to cooperate still largely depends on how he's feeling that day. He refused to sit still for anything and cried about everything when I took him to his pediatrician to check on his sore, swollen throat and tonsils. This was before his tonsils were removed.
On better days though, he has become more cooperative. So far, he doesn't try to grab the stethoscope. He sits still and says "bup bup bup bup bup" while the doctor listens to his heart and lungs. Looking into his ears and mouth has been less of a struggle so far too.
But maybe the doctor kit has nothing to do with him cooperating more. Maybe it's just because he understands more and it's easier to talk him through things like asking him to count to 10 while the doctor looks in his ears. Either way, the doctor kit is a fun addition to his toy bin.
Make Your Own Doctor Kit
Another idea is to create your own doctor kit as described in detail in this article "Pretend and Learn Doctor's Office". I like the idea of getting a real but cheap stethoscope so I am currently searching for one. I wonder what Matthew will think about being able to actually listen to his sister's heart. But he might be disappointed when trying to listen to his teddy bear's heart.
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