Monday, 19 November 2012

After-the-Accident: Use Play to Learn and Heal

It's been a few days after the accident, and Ladybug Girl still asks questions like "what are stitches?", "what's a wound?", "can you tell me the story what happened to me, mommy?".  She knows all the answers, it's just her way of dealing with what happened.

Today when she asked what stitches were again, I decided we should play hospital and pretend to be doctors who stitch up wounds.  Bonus was that she needed a lot of fine motor skill practice as well.  I brought this out:
Cheap coaster from grocery + Lacing string from old beading set + Plastic needle from an ELC craft set at the Fort

I improvised and drew a "wound" using a red marker.  She said "this is the color of blood!" and helped me color in the wound.  When we started to play, I put the coaster on Dopey doll and acted out what happened to her.  She ran away.

I pretended to be the nurse and paged for her as the surgeon, so she came back, took the needle and began to do her "stitches" to cover up the wound.  This was our first time so I had to guide her how, encouraging her that the wound will be much better during the times she wanted to stop.  It was a double-challenge for Ladybug Girl's personality to tackle both a difficult task and a new experience at that.  She always likes to know what to expect and do immediately.

Having the "wound" there actually helped a lot!  I don't think she would have done as well without the story and the visual guide:

Afterwards she put Dopey to rest and asked for another patient.  Atta girl.

This will be part of her new "stitches" activity in her room.

Left: placemat with smaller holes + thin shoelace     |     Right: coaster + plastic needle + yarn or lacing string

I made the sewing frame on the left in 10 minutes, by stapling another placemat around a spare picture frame.  

Can you tell where Ladybug Girl got her accident-prone genes? 

We also had to get a tetanus booster shot yesterday at her pedia.  Poor Ladybug Girl, she was so insistent that she have no more after that.  We played this adorable game on the ipad afterwards:

Play truly works wonders!

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