Comments: There’s comes a time when a child starts to feel a little anxiety about going to the doctor’s, especially once they’re old enough to remember past inflictions that occurred at that office. I bought this for my son to try and relieve some of his stress and help make the doctor’s office feel more familiar. What I didn’t anticipate was how much fun my son would have pretending in general, re-enacting a huge variety of situations. A doctor’s kit is really flexible, because you can pretend with people when available, but also with stuffed animals when the adults in your home are otherwise occupied. This kit by Melissa and Doug is a little expensive, but I really love that it comes with a doctor’s coat. (True story – at one point when my son was around 3, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. His quick response was, “A doctor.” Surprised, I said, “A doctor? Really? Why do you want to be a doctor?” He said, “I already have the coat.” The flawless logic of a three-year-old.) If you’re handy with a sewing machine or can find a small white lab coat somewhere else, it would probably be more cost-effective to use that and one of the more economical doctor’s kits that come with a carrying case.
Update: I’m removing this from the best gifts for kids list (at least temporarily), because although I have a 3 and 5 year old, it’s been at least a year since they’ve wanted to play with the doctor’s kit. I still think this is a great set, and I may have to try to get them re-engaged with it, but for the moment it’s been lying unused for too long to be worth recommending.