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Dramatic Play Wildlife Hospital

Set up a stunning and educational Wildlife Hospital play space using our printable Wildlife Hospital Pack and this guide to help you.

With natural disasters such as the intense bushfires, floods and drought that Australia experiences, this pack can help explore these situations in a gentle way that focuses on the heroic ways people in the community work together and make a difference to save our wildlife. 

Here's how I created a Wildlife Hospital play space for the Fawns. 

Create your own Wildlife Hospital sign using cardboard. Paint however you'd like, glue on a layer of burlap and material. Write your hospital name on and then decorate with dried leaves, flowers and anything else you'd like to add. 

Make ID tags by getting a piece of cardboard. Cut out a bit of burlap or material and glue it on one side. Print out a small photo of your child and glue it onto the burlap/material. Write your details on and make your own barcode. On the back attach a strip of material by gluing either end. Next slide a large paperclip onto the material. You can use this paperclip attachment to slide the ID tag onto a pocket of a doctor/vet costume. A kids science lab coat would also work well for costume. 

I put their small wooden table near a power-socket where I could plug in their light panel. Light panels can be purchased from Educational Experience, Educating Kids and Modern Teaching Aids however you can also find some drawing light boxes from places such as Officeworks, which will also do the job. If you fancy a DIY job, you can build your own light table or place lights inside a storage/sensory tub. 

I used a kids hat/coat rack that we've had for years to create a little indoor tree by wrapping Kraft recycled brown paper around it, with a little paper tape in places to hold it together. Then adding some leaves around to create a wonderful place for patients such as koalas, birds and bats.

Using a small shelving unit to create a work station, I added

  • A document holder to store animal x-rays in.
  • A clipboard for the printable Wildlife Hospital paperwork
  • The printable Wildlife Hospital animal fact cards, cut out. 
  • A pencil holder with a few pencils and a ruler.
  • Functioning stethoscope (available online or from Officeworks)
  • A basket with wooden and felt food suitable for animals that may come into their hospital and wooden bottles (including Beadie Bug Play bottles)
  • Some story and information books on Australian animals.
  • Their Post box for important mail to their hospital.
  • A doctor bag (which I made for a birthday some years ago) with dress ups and bandages. You can make your own bandages by cutting strips of muslin. 
  • A thrifted wooden bowl for a patient to rest in.

Woodslice and log cushions made a great addition as well as some little knitted blankets. Thrifted baskets, dolls beds and bowls can make great animal beds and food/water bowls for a hospital play space. 

Animal x-rays can be purchased from Modern Teaching Aids and Clever Patch.

Further ideas

  • Doctor/Vet tool set - beautiful wooden doctor set available from Nestling and Nook and a beautiful Vet set from Growing Kind 
  • Koala mask - for a $3 donation to a wildlife shelter you can get a beautiful Koala mask printable from Wild Mountain Child If you don't have a koala toy but do have a teddy bear, you can try putting a koala mask on the teddy for a make-do koala. 
  • Doctor/Nurse outfits available from Growing Kind
  • Bird houses - you can get little bird houses such as the one in the picture above that are a good size to hang in your DIY tree, from Bunnings.

Recommended books

  • Kookaburra Kookaburra
  • Fauna
  • Bitsy by Nicki Greenberg
  • Flood by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley
  • Fire by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley
  • A is for Australian Animals by Frané Lessac