Are your kids animal lovers?
If they are, they’ll go crazy for the book “Vicki the Vet“!
If you read my Ultimate Guide to Children’s Books about Firefighters, you’ve already heard me gush about this series by Felicity Brooks. They are awesome, well-researched depictions of people doing different careers, and the illustrations are so cool! The clay people and animals are so friendly and there are some great details that make them look realistic. I’m not a veterinarian myself, but I think it does a pretty good job showing a busy day in a vet’s office, following Vicki as she deals with a variety of animals and complaints. Being a vet is such an enticing career for animal-loving kids, and I thought it would be a fun one to explore with some different activities!
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Activity #1- Vet’s Office Dramatic Play
What kid doesn’t love playing vet? It has all the excitement of playing doctor with an added component of fun! I’ll admit, my setup was pretty elaborate, but hopefully you can find some elements to use with your own!
A Fort Magic office
When I bought the Fort Magic kit for my Fort Magic Baby Gym, I knew I’d be using it for a million other things! It only took about 10-15 minutes to construct this whole vet’s office setup (I did have to cannibalize a few pieces from the baby play area, but they survived!). I even set up a little waiting room outside with…
Forms to fill out
I used my handy dandy saddle stapler to put together some simple notebooks where the doctors could record their findings, and let the kids decorate them with some stickers!
The rest of the printables I used (the signs, the registration forms, the prescriptions, etc) came from this amazing freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers; Dramatic Play Centers for the Entire Year by Cindy Lou
The X-Ray viewer
The Vet Supply Shelf
I don’t actually have a doctor play kit (it would have made life a lot easier if I did!) so I had to create my own. I drew a thermometer on a craft stick, dug some expired gauze out of my first aid kit, and rounded up some syringes and medicine droppers, a stethoscope, and a pocket mirror (because why not?) For the medicine, I made…
The Medicine Cabinet
The “cabinet” itself is a cardboard box! I cut the top and bottom flap off, used one for the shelf and cut the other one to make some tabs that I used to glue the shelf in place, and the latch for the front. I painted the whole thing white, then added a Velcro dot to the latch so it stays closed. The “medicine” inside is my Baby Bottle Rainbow Rattles and Glitter Jars! They were perfect for this activity, and the kids liked that they were different colors.
The exam table
The pet exam table is just a large black bin (actually, the one I keep my Fort Magic pieces in), with a rectangle of tissue paper taped to the top for authenticity.
As you can imagine, this stayed exciting for quite a while! I have a big bin of beanie babies so there were plenty of potential patients! The kids decorated signs that said “(their name), Veterinarian,” which we rotated based on whoever was currently playing the role of vet.
Fore even more cool ideas check out Pocket of Preschool’s Vet Hospital Dramatic Play.
Activity #2- Vet Clinic Dioramas
You can click to read my detailed tutorial on how to make Super Simple DIY Paper Dioramas!
We made some paper vet clinics, and they were adorable! This is both a craft and an activity, because when the kids are done making them, they become a little small world to play with!
Activity #3- Paw Print Art
Click on the image to read the full directions for this activity at Pre-K pages! The setup takes a little work but it’s a cute way to let the kids be creative around this theme!
Activity #4- Play a game with animal cards
Click the image below to snag this freebie from Fanciful First Grade’s Teachers Pay Teachers store!
These cards are great for all sorts of activities! You can;
- Give one to each child and have them write or tell a story about someone bringing that animal to a vet’s office
- Make two sets (preferably on card stock or laminated) and use them to play memory
- Make stands for them and add them to your diorama play areas
- Have kids grab one out of a hat and then move around the room pretending to be that animal
- Use them to play charades (one kid pretends to be the animal and everyone else guesses what they are!)
Activity #5: Guinea Pig Sensory Play
This cute sensory bin from Play 2 Grow uses wood shavings as a base and has all sorts of cool accessories to let kids practice taking care of a guinea pig! Your little future vets will love making sure the guinea pigs get everything they need! Click the image below to go to her full description. (I will warn you, wood shavings are a really fun sensory play material, but they do tend to get everywhere, so this one is messy)
There’s a cool hamster sensory tub (wait until you see what she uses for filler!) and a ton of other cool pet-related learning centers for teachers here: Pocket of Preschool Per Themed Activities And Centers
Which vet themed activities will the animal-loving kids in your life like the best?
Leave a comment and let me know!
For more cool, book-related activities, check out Hands-on Optical Illusion Activities, Inspired by “Walter Wick’s Optical Tricks!” and The Big Orange Splot: A Book-Based Process Art Activity!
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