Set Up a Doctor Dramatic Play Center or Pretend Hospital

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Use these fun ideas to create a doctor pretend play center for your preschoolers. In a dramatic play center, kids can develop language, problem-solving, and social skills in developmentally appropriate pretend play. Kids can learn science, literacy, and math concepts in a fun way. They will have a BLAST taking care of patients in a doctor dramatic play area.

doctor dramatic play printables
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Kids love to explore the world around them through pretend play.  Pretending to be a medical professional is a favorite of many kids.

Hospital Dramatic Play Center and doctor pretend play set up with a laptop, a checklist, a stethoscope

Take your kid’s doctor role-playing to the next level.

Here are some great ideas to help you transform your dramatic play area into a doctor’s office, a play hospital, or even a teddy bear hospital. I’ll also show you how to add elements of science, math, literacy, and fine motor skills activities to your dramatic play center.

Little girl playing in her doctor dramatic play center.

You can find the printables that are featured in the photos in this post in my store. When you purchase the set, you will get a PDF file that includes printable props and logos. The included forms and signs will make your set-up a breeze.

I also added several links at the bottom of this post. Use the links and ideas to help you shop for props to add to your center. There will be no additional cost to you when you make a purchase from a link, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards maintaining this website.

Dress Up Clothing for Your Doctor Pretend Play Set Up

A few props and dress-up clothes will help you enhance your pretend play area for your little learners.

Adding dress up clothes to your doctor dramatic play center.

Here are a few things that you can use for dress-up clothes:

  • white lab coat or white dress shirt can serve as a doctor’s coat
  • medical scrubs, hats, masks, shoe covers
  • hospital gowns, blankets, etc.
  • role play name tags for nurses, doctors, paramedics, lab technicians, radiologists, pharmacists, etc.

Additional Props For Your Doctor Dramatic Play Area

Additional props for your doctor dramatic play area.

Use your imagination and dig through your prop box to find additional dramatic play props for your play hospital.  Here are some ideas to get you going:

  • A doctor kit with medical supplies: stethoscopes, syringes, thermometers
  • doll beds, blankets, baby dolls, or stuffed animals
  • cotton balls, q-tips, tongue depressors, strips of cloth, bandages
  • sponges, towels, washcloths
  • tweezers, small plastic containers
  • file folders, clipboards, notebooks or notepads to use as prescriptions pads
  • bathroom scales, tape measure, growth chart, eye chart

Setting Up the Hospital Dramatic Play Area

You can make your doctor pretend play center as simple or as complex as you like. From a waiting room, a reception desk, an exam room, x-ray room, lab, and pharmacy, there are so many fun doctor dramatic play activities that you can set up, and so many different medic.

Decor

The printable set includes printable banners, printable logos and vocabulary cards for labeling items, and also includes signs for different areas in the dramatic play hospital or clinic.  Here are ideas for some different areas that you can create.

Patient Check-in

You can create a reception desk where patients can check in, check out, pay their bills, or make an appointment.  Kids will have opportunities to practice writing names when they add their names to the sign-in sheet or schedule an appointment.

An appointment schedule for your doctor office dramatic play area.

Add a keyboard or an old laptop or device so that kids can check schedules on their computers.  My doctor dramatic play activities set includes printables so that you can create pretend laptops and heart monitors.

Doctor Dramatic Play Center.

To assemble the laptop, I slipped the printables into the cover of a three-ring binder.  Then I folded the binder backward so that the rings faced out.  Finally, I propped the “screen” up.  I use a roll of duct tape, a cardboard box, or whatever I happen to have on hand.  Tada…..instant laptop…..or heart monitor.

A laptop for your doctor dramatic play center.

Waiting Room

Every medical office has a waiting room. With just a few chairs, you can create one in your doctor’s pretend play set. Add some books so that patients can read as they wait for their appointment to start.

Measurement Area

We usually get weighed and measured before going to an exam room.  Set up a measurement area with a bathroom scale and a growth chart so nurses can check the growth of their patients.

Exam Room with Dramatic Play Doctor Checklist

Add a cot and/or a couple of chairs to part of your play area to create an exam room or hospital room.  Medical records, patient charts or the dramatic play doctor checklist will help your little doctors and nurses examine their patients.

Medical records or a dramatic play doctor checklist can be used to help kids examine their patient in your doctor pretend play set up.

You can also add prescription pads, hospital ID bracelets, and a computer are great additions to a desk area.  Create a print-rich environment by labeling everything with vocabulary cards.

Doctors and nurses can use a toy stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, otoscope, and thermometer to give patients a thorough medical exam.  Kids don’t like getting shots, but I always crack up by how much they love GIVING shots.  Be sure to include some syringes.

Additional props for your doctor dramatic play area.

They can clean wounds with cotton balls, sponges, etc. Strips of sheets can serve as bandages so that staff can wrap wounds and injuries.

Radiology Lab

Kids love looking at x-rays.  You can use real x-ray images or printed images on a light table, or you can hang some on a wall.  Old cameras….or just a plain box can serve as an x-ray machine for your pretend x-ray techs.

Use x-rays as part of your doctor dramatic play center.

Pharmacy

When I visit a doctor, I often leave with a prescription.  Your little doctors can write prescriptions too.  Create a pharmacy within your dramatic play area where pharmacists can fill those prescriptions.

Add a pharmacy to your doctor dramatic play center.

Use little spice bottles or travel bottles to house the medicine.  Small pom-poms, beads, or beans can serve as the medication.  Provide tweezers so that kids can sort and count the pills, and then place them in the bottles.

This is a fun math and fine motor activity.  Your kids will be having so much fun that they won’t even realize they are learning.

Medical Laboratory

My favorite part of this dramatic play area is the laboratory.  It’s a great place to test specimens and samples or to create a cure for the latest virus.  You can set up a super simple laboratory by providing a few sensory bottles and a magnifying glass.

You can also set up a lab complete with test tubes and a microscope if you have them.   If you don’t….. improvise by using a bunch of clear plastic containers, bottle caps, and, eye droppers.  Don’t forget to add a notebook so that scientists can make notes.

Add a lab to your doctor dramatic play center.

There are many benefits to dramatic play, and one is that pretend play provides a playful way for kids to learn. So, why not let them do some simple & easy science experiments? Fill up containers or beakers with colored water, and kids can experiment with color mixing.

A research lab for your doctor dramatic play center.

What happens when the colors are mixed?

Mixing colors in your doctor dramatic play center.

Here is another fun experiment.  Add colored water to some containers/test tubes and colored vinegar to others.  Fill a large bottle cap or shallow container with baking soda.  Kids can then use a dropper to add a drop of liquid from each test tube to the baking soda.

Setting up your doctor dramatic play center.

Which liquid creates a reaction?

Additional Learning Opportunities

My printable set also includes a sequencing activity.  Kids can learn how to wash their hands properly as they place the cards in the correct order.

Add a hand washing station to your doctor dramatic play center.

Purchase the Doctor Pretend Play Printables

I know your kids will have so much fun as they pretend to be doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and lab technicians.  The set is perfect for your your preschool, pre-k or kindergarten students, or you can set up a pretend play area in your home. Start setting up your doctor dramatic play area today. Click on the image below to purchase the Medical Dramatic Play Printables.

doctor dramatic play printables
my community dramatic play printables

Buy The Doctor Pretend Play Printables on TPT

Do you prefer to shop at Teachers Pay Teachers? You can also purchase the Doctors Office Dramatic Play Printables or the My Community Dramatic Play Bundle in my TPT Store.


Additional Hospital Dramatic Play Supplies

Here are some items that might help you with the doctor dramatic play setup.  If you decide to purchase any of the items below, Amazon will pay me a small commission for it. This doesn’t cost you anything additional, but the commission helps me fund this website.

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