After I took down our Bakery shop, I wanted to go with a quicker and easier play center. I present…the Veterinarian Office:
Here’s the break-down on each of the items including cost and where to get them!
1. Patient List: $3.79 for Velcro from Michaels.
This was a hand-made item. I laminated the blank Patient List and also laminated pictures for each animal in our center. I used the Velcro dots to make this an area for kids to practice ordering. I wanted to provide this option for the children who are not yet writing to be able to “take” patients and ordering/sorting is a great early math skill.
2. Waiting Room: no cost.
I pulled some extra chairs from another area of the library and used them to create a waiting room for the patients and their owners to wait in. Originally, I planned on pulling old magazines and stocking the area with them but I was concerned that they’d be mixed up in the library’s general collection. The kids have brought their own reading material though — if the piles of books I’ve seen around the space are any indication.
3. All About My Pet: paper & clipboard, no cost.
I made a worksheet for kids to write and talk about why their animals are visiting the veterinarian’s office that day. These were both general supplies found around our workroom. [This was a test situation to see if doing a post office was possible later on. I wanted to see if markers/crayons/pencils would wind up on the walls. In the Parent Tips, it asks parents to accompany their kids to ask for writing utensils at the desk.]
4. Leashes & Collars: $5 for two leashes and three collars from Dollar Tree.
I bought the tiniest collars that I could find and once I adjusted them down to the lowest level, they fit the Beanie Babies. The leashes make for an adorable scene as kids “walk” their animals through the department.
5. Toys: $4.99 for balls from Target & $2 for rope & bone from Dollar Tree.
I wanted to find toys other than dog toys, but nearly every cat toy had me worried about choking hazards — a lot of the ones at Dollar Tree had bells or feathers. I figured that cats would chase balls, right?
6. Veterinarian Tools: $35.99 part of the Vet Kit from Amazon.
I purchased this when it was discounted for $23.99. Watch the price for a while before you buy it; it will go up and down. I loved that this kit came with tons of vet supplies and the carrier was the cutest thing ever.
7. Bowls: $2 from Dollar Tree.
Just a small little touch, but it’s really sweet to see kids making their animals “eat” and “drink” from these. Also a very small purchase!
8. Pet Carriers: one from the Vet Kit & one purchased on eBay for $5.
There are tons of play pet carriers available online and I just wanted to make sure that no fights would break out if I only had one. I was lucky enough to catch the same carrier (though slightly larger) for a small price!
9. Parent Tips: free.
Again, if this was just a play center, I wouldn’t include parent tips. But this is a space where parents and children are supposed to interact. I change the tips each center and it delights me to see when parents are reading them and interacting with their child. (Now that isn’t always the case. But it is my dream!)
10. Animals: Beanie Babies donated from my house.
As a child of the 90s, my sister and I had tons of these creatures. We also were *serious* collectors and had the tags in tag protectors and never played with them. That makes perfect toys in pristine condition all set to be donated to the library now that I’m a children’s librarian!
And just a small example of the fabulous things that the kids have been writing on their play sheets!
I’ll be back in a few weeks with an update on how this center did after 300 hours of play!