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Learning Is Everywhere

February

We’re learning at the doctor’s office!

 

Lots of fun ideas and activities for families!18697

Each month offers activities families can do together in a variety of settings. The activities within the Learning is Everywhere Calendar and on the website are aligned with the Pennsylvania Early Learning Standards (ELS).

These guidelines can be used to determine what infants, toddlers, pre-kindergarten, and kindergarten children may know or be able to do within specific age ranges.

The Pennsylvania Early Learning Standard is referenced after each activity.

Note: Be prepared for your child’s reactions to the change in the temperature of the air and the examining table. Plan ahead if assistance is needed for children who use medical devices and equipment. 

Activities for Babies

While waiting in the exam room you most likely will have to undress your baby. As you do, touch each part of your baby’s body and name each part as you go. Make eye contact with her and smile as you touch and name each body part. Tell her what the body part does. “Your arms reach wide to give a hug!” (Social and Emotional Development)

Often there are pictures on the walls of a doctor’s office. Hold your baby, facing the pictures and point out to him the items in the picture. Describe to him what you see. Use words that will give him details. “Look at this big picture of a baby. See how happy the baby is? He is smiling just like you do when you are happy!” (Social Studies Thinking)

Be prepared for your babies’ reactions to the change in the temperature of the air and the examining table. Plan ahead if assistance is needed for children who use medical devices and equipment. Engage your child by playing a game and find things around the room making up your own ABC song.

pediatrician with babyActivities for Todders

Play match up with your fingers. Use your hands to count and match your fingers to your toddler’s fingers. Count as each finger touches-you do one hand, and then let him do the other. To be extra silly, can you do your toes? Singing heads-shoulders-knees and toes is an alternative activity for children who have physical or sensory concerns. You can also play ‘this little piggy’ game with your child and their toes. Encourage your little one to mimic or copy your hand gestures or puppets. (Mathematics Thinking and Expression)

Create a Special Event bag your toddler can take when visiting places like the doctor’s office. It can be a simple backpack, cloth bag, or even a zip-top plastic bag. Put in items such as pad of paper, crayons, stickers, small toys or cars, View Master, lacing games, playing cards, or other special items to be used when visiting. (Approaches to Learning through Play) 

Singing heads-shoulders-knees and toes is an alternative activity for children who have physical or sensory concerns. You can also play ‘this little piggy’ game with your child and their toes. Encourage your little one to mimic or copy your hand gestures or puppets.

Activities for Preschoolers

Encourage your preschooler to act out the role of someone at the doctor’s office. What person is she going to be? (Receptionist, nurse, x-ray technician, doctor, etc.) Why is the patient visiting the doctor? What does the person she’s acting as do? What would that person say? Take turns playing the doctor and the patient. Stuffed animals and dolls can be pretend patients, too. (Approaches to Learning through Play)

octopus dr

While waiting in the examining room, have your preschooler close his eyes and listen. What does he hear? (Closing of a door, someone walking down the hall, the air conditioning/heating vent, a phone ringing, baby crying, etc.) Talk about what you hear. Where might someone be going? Who might be calling? Why might the baby be crying? Encourage your child to use his imagination-might it be an elephant on the phone, or a tiger creeping down the hall? (Creative Thinking & Expression)

Adapt these activities by using pictures or technology for children with audio or visual needs. Help develop their communication skills by providing exciting and expressive answers to the questions. You and your child can play ‘match the sound’ while waiting. As you make a sound, encourage your child to guess the animal or items.

Create a Special Event bag your preschooler can take when visiting places like the doctor’s office. It can be a simple backpack, cloth bag, or even a zip-top plastic bag. Put in items such as pad of paper, crayons, stickers, small toys or cars, View Master, lacing games, playing cards, or other special items to be used when visiting. (Approaches to Learning through Play) 

Adapt these activities by using pictures or technology for preschoolers with audio or visual needs. Help develop their communication skills by providing exciting and expressive answers to the questions. You and your child can play ‘match the sound’ while waiting. As you make a sound, encourage your child to guess the animal or items.

Activities for Kindergartners

Explain to your kindergartner that a people doctor is a physician, while an animal doctor is a veterinarian. Provide names of people you know, and see if he can guess which doctor (physician or veterinarian) the person would see, and mix in animals, too. “Would Uncle Jack go to a physician or a veterinarian if he was sick?” or “Would a cat go to a physician or a veterinarian if it was sick?” Let him quiz you, too! (Social Studies Thinking)

On the way to the doctor’s office, have your kindergartner try to guess what will happen while there. (Check height and weight, listen to the heart and lungs, look into the ears, check reflexes, look into mouth, etc.) Ask her why the doctor might want to check her height, look in her mouth, etc. Encourage responses which are positive (“To see how big you are growing” or “To see your shiny teeth”), rather than “to see if there’s anything wrong.” Once there, ask her to recall why the doctor does things. (Social Studies Thinking)

Be sure to include all known and ongoing medical concerns you have in the conversation with the medical staff. Talking about medical concerns with your kindergartner can help prepare her for specific procedures. Once you set your kindergartner’s appointment, prepare for the upcoming visit by marking it on the calendar. Include her in crossing out the day or the calendar until the day of the visit.

Create a Special Event bag your kindergartner can take when visiting places like the doctor’s office. It can be a simple backpack, cloth bag, or even a zip-top plastic bag. Put in items such as pad of paper, crayons, stickers, small toys or cars, View Master, lacing games, playing cards, or other special items to be used when visiting. (Approaches to Learning through Play) 

Be sure to include all known and ongoing medical concerns you have in the conversation with the medical staff. Talking about medical concerns with your kindergartner can help prepare her for specific procedures. Once you set your kindergartner’s appointment, prepare for the upcoming visit by marking it on the calendar. Include her in crossing out the day or the calendar until the day of the visit.

Print February’s Activity Calendar!


 Finding the Right Healthcare Professional for Your Child

Don’t underestimate the importance of choosing that first healthcare professional. They will shape the feelings your child has of healthcare visits. If your child is in need of specialty care or if there are a lack of providers in your area,little dudes with shots this could be challenging. However, a little homework prior to deciding on a provider may make for a more positive experience you and your child.

Finding the right healthcare professional for your child can be a confusing and scary time. You may be faced with many choices—a clinic, a pediatrician, a family doctor, a nurse practitioner, a physician assistant—or you may feel as if your options are limited.

Get tips on how to find the right Healthcare Professional for you child and read about Angie who addresses a concern about her son with his healthcare professional in Be Your Child’s Champion.


Pennsylvania CHIP

CHIP is short for the Children’s Health Insurance Program – Pennsylvania’s program to provide health insurance to all uninsured children and teens who are not eligible for or enrolled in Medical Assistance. There are a lot of reasons kids might not have health insurance – maybe their parents lost a job, don’t have health insurance at work or maybe chip_logoit just costs too much. Whatever the reason, CHIP may be able to help.

All families need to to is apply today. Parents may think their kids can’t get CHIP because they make too much money. Not true! CHIP covers all uninsured kids and teens up to age 19 who are not eligible for Medical Assistance. No family makes too much money for CHIP because there is no income limit. For many families, it’s free. Families with incomes above the free CHIP limits will pay low monthly premiums and co-pays for some services.

Children who have health insurance generally have better health throughout their childhood and into their teens. They are more likely to:

  • Receive needed shots that prevent diseas
  • Get treatment for recurring illnesses such as ear infections and asthma
  • Get preventative care to keep them well
  • Get sick less frequently
  • Get the treatment they need when they are sick
  • Have better attendance at school, and do better at school

To find out more information, or to apply for CHIP, please visit the Pennsylvania CHIP website or call 1-800-986-KIDS (5437).


10 books about going to the doctors office

Print this list!

Never take a shark to the dentist by Judi Barrett
Going to the Doctor by Anne Civardi
Miss Dose the Doctor’s Daughter by Allan Ahlberg
Calling Doctor Amelia Bedelia by Herman Parish
Daisy the Doctor by Felicity Brooks
Do I have to Go to the Hospital? by Pat Thomas
A day with a Doctor by Jan Kottke
Franklin goes to the hospital by Paulette Bourgeois
My friend the doctor by Joanna Cole
The Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor by Stan & Jan Berenstain


February Songs and Rhymes

Get ready to belt out some tunes! Engage your child in songs and rhymes and learning while in the kitchen.

The words to the songs can be printed, or you can visit your local library for CDs with the music.

Songs and nursery rhymes for in the doctor’s office:dancing frog

An Apple A Day
Body Parts
Cover Your Mouth and Turn Your Head
Hands on Shoulders
Stinky Stinky Diaper Change
Five Little Monkeys

Print the words to these songs!


What’s YOUR Story?

You know you have a story to tell about what quality education has done for your child, your family or your community–We want to hear it!

Tell about your child’s favorite PA Pre-K Counts, Head Start or Keystone STAR teacher, administrator, or classroom. Share all the great things your child has learned by participating in a quality early learning classroom. Let everyone know how important it is for your family to have access to quality early learning!

Share your story with everyone! – (Click here)

 

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