It is lovely to see children playing doctor and they will even start when only 4 to 6 years old. By that time they will have seen real doctors in the surgery when they go for check-ups and if any of their siblings are younger than them, they will have also most likely visited their mother in hospital during the confinement.
Playing doctor is a time-held tradition amongst kids. Nobody knows how long playing doctor goes back in time but we would think that for as long as mothers and children have been looked after by nurses and medics they will quite naturally have been playing this game.
Playing hospital is just as much fun as playing doctor or any other role playing game, but it also gives a child who loves dolls the opportunity to set up imaginative situations where the child has complete control to work out some simply daily tasks like eating, washing the doll, and of course playing out a doctor's visit possibly along the lines of a recent visit to the child to the clinic, or watching someone else in the family.
Playing doctor is for kids, and doctor play is simply fun is not it? Playing doctor when there is no authority is also nice for the child as they can take an adult role and one which they will look up to the Doctor figure as a role model.
Playing animal doctor is also something that kids do when they have a family dog or cat. They will lean over the animal to use their make-believe stethoscope It's a natural parallel for exploration.
Kids know what a doctor is, they know what it's like to go get a checkup from a doctor. They can give their doll a pretend tablet of medicine, and mock the doll if the doll supposedly does not take the medicine, and this allows the child to distress the situation many have experienced when asked to take medicine which they do not like the taste of. Parents watching may see themselves imitated by the child when playing doctor and find this highly amusing to watch.
Playing doctor can be made challenging, for the child if the parent gets involved and plays with them.
In additional to traditional imaginative games of which playing doctor is just one example, the new computer role playing types of game are becoming increasingly popular with children. Of course all these games need to be very adaptable to cater for all skill levels, but the newly selectable difficulty levels it one particular game are known to make the game much more accessible to the average player than it once was. In fact, if playing the game with a child you can bump down the difficulty for a tough operation and then raise it back up very quickly for the next one.
Girls will always be more willing to play hospital games, like playing doctor than boys, interestingly these sorts of games both act as indicators of maturity. Girls know, even without slogans, that they will do better than boys in school and are well loved by teachers for their achievements. Is it the role playing games they play like doctor games which help them later on.
Valerie Walkerdine, a British sociologist and feminist, points out that the image of the supergirl that "Girls rule" and "girl power" suggest sets up an opposing image of the girl of color or from a low-income family who is the other and not given the opportunities to achieve superwoman status. Girls still tend to be friends with girls and boys with boys. Boys will have fewer friends, but their friendships last.
Girls will also play much more intellectually demanding computer games. Of course, in one of the most popular games of this type, the players just have to wait for the doctor role and procedure to come up again randomly since there is no way to choose anything to play in this so called Zoo Hospital. Nowadays the players really feel like they are performing real surgeries, making the award winning game more fun than ever!