Kids love to play doctor and vet pretend games. Sadly, for kids who like to pretend there aren’t many play doctor kits available. Or at least there are few made of non-plastic materials AND I’ve never seen a pretend vet set made with eco-friendly materials. I know of two decent doctor kits if your kiddo wants to pretend to give his little sister shots though…
Doctor`s Suitcase from Haba – This German made kit is made with metal and wood non-toxic materials – not plastic. Comes with 1 prescription pad, 1 pencil, 1 tongue depressor, 1 wooden syringe, 1 little medicine tube, 1 tube of ointment, 1 spoon, 1 wood thermometer, 4 band aids, 1 elastic bandage and 1 metal suitcase with a wooden handle. The small size of some of the pieces in this set means it’s not suitable for children under the age of 3 years.
Wonderworld Eco-Friendly Handy Doctor Set – this kit made by eco-friendly Wonderworld from environmentally friendly rubber wood and strictly using non-toxic paints, dyes and lacquers and formaldehyde free glue is plushy and soft and nicely multicolored. Suitable for ages 36 months and up
DIY pretend doctor’s kit
My son never owned a store-bought play doctor’s kit because before I started writing full time I was in college planning on becoming a CNM. Time wise writing made more sense for my family. However, I didn’t realize I was going to quit college until after my medical clinicals.
Long story short – Cedar had access to actual medical supplies. He loved playing with my (very expensive) stethoscope, wrapping his arm up in gauze and taking his own blood pressure. After supervising him with my medical gear I realized he wasn’t going to kill himself with it so when he wanted to play doctor I’d let him use my stuff and never had to buy him a pretend kit.
Luckily, although my gear for clinicals was more expensive, you don’t have to spend a lot on medical gear if you’re not actually treating real patients in clinicals. You can snag some cool stuff and build a DIY play doctor kit for about $40-$50 depending on how well you shop around. Bonus, real gear works better and lasts longer than fake gear. Just aim for small sizes.
- First snag a plain metal lunch box for less than $10 – you can write “Doctor’s Kit” on the outside with a non-toxic permanent marker. Then fill it with the following supplies…
- $10 Discount Single Head Stethoscope
- Better yet grab a super deal on a Classic Blood Pressure Kit, Pediatric – comes with a pediatric cuff and stethoscope for just $12 – a great deal considering most blood pressure cuffs for kids run $40+.
- Reusable Penlight – for checking eyes! Print out a free eye exam chart on recycled paper.
- Kids Bandages from All Terrain Company
- Latex Free Gauze Roll Bandage
- The one advantage of play doctor sets is they come with fake immunization toys. Of course you aren’t going to give a child a real needle but one alternative I’ve found are those little syringe-like medicine droppers. American Red Cross makes one for $8 that actually looks like a “shot” – at least enough for a child. Even your basic no needle syringe will resemble a shot though. Just make sure you don’t give a child one with a cap.
- Child safe medicine spoon – for pretend medicine of course. About $2.
- A child safe and super cute Digital Thermometer – $8 IF your child is old enough to know not to poke this in anyone’s eyes/stick it down someone’s throat. If not skip it, because safe digital ear thermometers don’t come cheap.
- Add a little recycled memo pad and pencil for note taking. Usually about $2 at an office supply store.
Other ideas: Some of this gear you may be able to scrounge up used or from friends who work in the medical field. Then a DIY kit can cost less. All in all though just make sure everything in the kit is child safe (this is not a kit for a baby) and shop around because if you can’t build your own doctor’s kit for $40 or less it makes more sense to purchase one, like the Haba set shown above.
Also see how to make a Thrift Store Dress-Up Costume Kit.