Encourage your child to develop empathy by running their own animal hospital.
Can last from a couple minutes to much longer depending on how many times you and your child want to play.
Stuffed or plastic animals, small boxes/baskets, napkins/small scarves/paper towels.
How to Play
Pretend that the animals coming to the hospital have gotten hurt or sick, and encourage your child to develop ways to care for them. For example, a bird could come into your animal hospital with a broken wing and the child might need to place a band-aid to help them feel better.
Have the animal hospital set up ahead of time. Also, keep an open mind as your child explains why the animal has come to the hospital – kids think more creatively than most adults. Ask your child to think of different animals to help them learn about new types of animals.
Make it Easier
You could start by taking on the role of the vet or staff at the animal hospital and model different ways of caring of the animals.
Make it Harder
Encourage your child to think of ways in which the animal might have gotten hurt. For example, a cat may have hurt its paw falling off the table etc. This can also prompt discussions about safety and playing safely.
Adapted from ‘Early Learning Activities for Toddlers,’ Alaska’s Early Childhood Investment