The art of role-play proves to be a fun activity for all ages and comes in handy as a resource when helping a child adjust to a new situation. Any type of role-play engages your child, but this activity highlights a dentist and doctor visit that may be scary for your child. Acting out the situation prepares your child for when the visit arrives.
Make-believe stethoscope, like a jump rope or funnel
Have your child sit up on the couch or on her bed. Act out what a doctor or dentist might do at the upcoming visit. Some ideas are:
· Help your child pronounce the doctor’s name and become familiar hearing it.
· You may use a spoon to tap on your child’s knee.
· Take your child’s temperature.
· Have your child stick her tongue out and look in her throat with a flashlight.
· Use a jump rope stethoscope to listen to your child’s heartbeat on her chest and back while she takes deep breaths.
· You may wish to pretend to give your child a shot with a crayon. Then place a bandage on the spot.
· You can have your child lie back and open her mouth while you inspect her teeth. You can count her teeth with a toothpick or toothbrush. Give your child a pair of sunglasses to wear to protect her eyes from the dentist light, if that is the norm at your dentist’s office.
· Brush your child’s teeth or allow her to do so in the mirror.
Praise your child for performing these tasks so well and for obediently listening.
Now help your child to perform these activities with you acting as the patient. This will help your child feel a sense of control and solidify the activities that are performed in a doctor's office.