Monday, December 2, 2013

Bringing the Classroom Home - Homemade Bandages

I think it's interesting that in all my years of doing therapy that I've never really addressed community helpers or developed activites to go along with this theme. I've done categories about pets and talked about Vetrenarians, I've done letter writing and talked about the Postal Service and I've done Health and Safety things and briefly talked about police officers, but this is really one theme that I've neglected. But now that I am thinking about it, this is such a cool theme!

Here is some of what she brought home this week:

We love to talk to the people in our community. Our favorite Community Helpers are the workers at our local supermarket, Publix. We know their names and they know ours - which if you live in a small community is probably pretty common, but we live in Orlando, Florida. There are lots of people here all the time and most of the places that I go, I don't see people that I know. And when I do, it's the highlight of my shopping trip!

Some of our other favorite Community Helpers are the firefighters at our local station. We are not on a first name basis but we love to see their truck and talk about where they might be headed. As a matter of fact, they did "visit" our house on January 1st this year. Our carbon monixide alarm was going off and we did everything we could to reset it and air out the house. But it kept going off. The manual siad that if you do those steps the next thing to do was call 911. It really seemed rediculous to call the fire department when we knew there was nothing in our house that produced carbon monoxide but I was like 8 months pregnant so we thought we'd be better safe than sorry. As it turned out, we had a broken alarm and there was NO carbon monoxide in our home. We thanked them profusely for coming (and coming quickly), wished them a happy new year and then took a bunch of pictures :) 

The last community helper that I'll mention is our fabulous doctor, Dr. C. She is amazing with my kids and always seems to have the time to answer all of my questions (although with baby number 2, there are quite a bit fewer questions!) And it is in honor of doctors that we decided to do our Bringing the Classroom Home project. Big Sister has metioned that she wants to be a doctor "for big kids and for sick babies" on and off for more than 2 years (and she's only 4). She was a doctor for Halloween when she was 2 and loves to play doctor with her stethoscope and bandages. 

Mostly, our bandages are fabric scraps that we tie around the arms and legs (and I try to avoid tying them around necks) of favorite "sick" stuffed toys. She would love to constantly use real bandages but we got a bandage stuck on a teddy bear last year and it was very difficult to get off so we do not allow real bandages on toys. But that got me thinking. I had seen a cute felt bandage on Pintrerst at some point and decided to try something like that. The orignal post was about making a Doc McStuffin's inspired stethoscope, but I modified it to just the bandage part (see it here).

It worked better for us to make colorful bandages with little velcro ends so they would stick to the animals fur or around the dolls arms and legs.

Here is what we did:

1. Get some material. We used flannel, but next time I'll use felt. I use a lot of felt in projects, and I regret trying the flannel... live an learn! The flannel frayed a bit on the edges and won't look good for very long.

2. Use an actual bandage to trace the shape, cut it out. Use a small square-ish piece to be the middle. I used my sewing machine to quickly stitch around the square and I used white thread so it would stand out. You could just as easily glue the small square on too. We preferred when the bandage and the small square were different made them stand out a little bit. We did do some that were pink on pink and purple on purple, but those were not our favorites.

3. I cut little velcro dots in half and stuck them to the ends of the bandages.

Now the little bandages can be secured around fingers, wrists or dolls arms! We also attached 2 together and they now can be wrapped around larger body parts like legs and waists. I hope that you create some fun homemade bandages to incorporate into dress up and imaginative play at your home! These were easy, quick and fun!

We also used a large piece of some inexpensive fabric to be gauze. 

Helping others and learning about empathy are only part of what children learn when they are playing doctor. Plus, the language skills you can address are numerous!

Do you have any favorite Community Helpers that your family interacts with? 

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