If you are looking to change up your dramatic play center, your students will probably love a vets office dramatic play center! This center combines the children’s love for stuffed animals and animals with their love of playing doctor! Plus, it took me all of 15 minutes to set up once you have my Vets Office Dramatic Play Set Up!
Setting up your vets office dramatic play center is easy with my vets office dramatic play product! Simply print the pictures and posters you want to use and then make copies of the charts and patient sign-in pages. I like to hang up the posters front and center so that the children can see right away what the center is. Then I hang up the word wall somewhere near where the children will be writing – so at child’s level is best. Finally, I spread out the photographs so that the children can see different examples of veterinarians at work. These photographs often inspire and enrich the children’s play. It also gives the dramatic play center a more realistic feel to it.
Bonus materials for the vets office dramatic play
If I have bonus materials for the vets office dramatic play center, I like to put them in containers with labels to that the children can easily find what they need and help put the materials away at clean up time. The labels also help the children with spelling if they are writing in the center. My go-to bonus materials for a vets office are stuffed animals. Duh! It’s so great to have pretend animals for the children to play with! Additionally, I have some health care items, like cotton balls, bandage, pretend shot, thermometer, and stethoscope.
I have gathered these items over the years. Usually doctors’ offices or pharmacies are happy to share some materials with you for a dramatic play center. Additionally, there are a ton of pretty cheap doctor play materials. I got most of these materials either from my play stuff as a kid, a doctor kit someone donated to the classroom, or the Target Dollar Spot. They often have great items for dramatic play, so I like to always give it a walkthrough when I am in Target.
I always make a point to connect my dramatic play centers to different academic areas. I really believe that this is the best opportunity for students to practice what they are learning, because they are very engaged and excited during their play time. Writing becomes less of a chore and a must-do, and more of a fun part of pretend play. So in this vets office dramatic play center, I have three different literacy connections. First, when the patients first arrive to the vets office, they need to sign in with their name, type of animal, and what time they have signed in at. Secondly, the patients should fill out the form about what brings them to the vet. Is it injury or illness? Students can use the word wall to help them fill out the sheet. Finally, the veterinarians will fill out the patient chart after the patient’s visit. They will record their check-up information and write down what treatment they provided.
Math connection in the vets office dramatic play
In addition to a literacy connection, I always try to include a natural connection to math in my dramatic play centers. In this vets office dramatic play center, children will be practicing with or will start to be exposed to time, temperature, and weight. Children will be writing the time of the patients arrival, and will be recording their temperature and weight as a part of their check-up. Children won’t be able to complete this work correctly on their own, but as they pretend, they will start to understand the concepts more fully. They will understand why time, temperature, and weight are used and how they are measured.
A nice science connection to the vets office dramatic play center is the understanding of different animals as pets. Children will observe pictures of the animals or the stuffed animals and write about their different body parts. Following the children’s interests, I would put out non-fiction books on the different pets they are most interested in so that they can learn even more about them.
Setting up a vets office dramatic play center is a lot easier than it sounds! Simply print the different posters and photos, copy the recording sheets, and then gather any extra stuffed animals and/or heath equipment you might have. The children will love pretending to be veterinarians and taking care of their stuffed animal pets.