A Mighty Girl's top picks of books, pretend play toys, science kits, and clothing celebrating doctors and nurses!
If there's one thing that the coronavirus crisis has taught us, it's that health professionals are heroes! From the doctors and nurses providing care in clinics and hospitals, to the lab technicians running tests, to the researchers investigating medications and vaccines, the public has a new appreciation for medical professionals and the work that they do. And that means that kids may be showing a new interest in medicine and the human body — both in their play and as a possible future career!
In this blog post, we're sharing books, toys, and clothing for all ages that encourages an interest in medicine, public health, and human anatomy. For younger kids, we're including fun stories and pretend play toys that empower them to imagine themselves as doctors and nurses, which can also help them feel less anxious and more knowledgeable about the precautions we're putting in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus. For school aged kids, tweens, and teens, we're also including some informative books and science kits that can prompt — or encourage — a love of the field. And since we know there are plenty of adult health care heroes in our community, we're including a few fun things to celebrate them too!
Books About Doctors and Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell didn’t want to be a wife, or a teacher, or a seamstress: she wanted to be a doctor! But in the 1830s, that just wasn't something women did. Elizabeth wasn't swayed, though: when people told her she wasn’t smart enough, or strong enough, she knew better. She fought her way past detractors and skeptics to attend medical school, and not only was she the first woman to graduate from a medical degree in the US, she became the first woman to join the UK Medical Register. Her brilliant career would become an inspiration for generations of women after her. With its colorful art and inspiring tone, this is sure to be a favorite for would-be doctors everywhere.
Creatures all over the forest are getting sick, and Charlotte the bunny scientist is determined to figure out why! The stumped doctors and scientists are dismissive of her efforts, but she holds firm to her beloved grandfather's assertion that she will "make a real difference in the world." After some patient interviews and a few samples from the outhouse, Charlotte realizes that all the sick animals have been munching on carrots contaminated by 'Funky Forest Fungi.' A quick clinical trial later, and Charlotte has saved the tummies of all her friends! This delightful sequel to Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished celebrates the ability of determined girls to change the world.
When Patricia Bath was coming of age, the intelligent young woman was determined to become a doctor, but she had many obstacles in her way: sexism, racism, and poverty all seemed to be working against her. Despite it all, she broke new ground for both women and African Americans in her chosen field of ophthalmology. In 1981, Bath invented the Laserphaco Probe, a quick and nearly painless way to treat cataracts — one which has now been used on millions of patients around the world! This inspiring story, which includes a note from Bath herself, highlights the power of fighting for a dream. For another excellent picture book about Bath, we also recommend Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight for ages 5 to 9.
After Sara Josephine Baker lost her brother and father to typhoid fever, she knew she wanted to be a doctor. But when she graduated in 1898, few people wanted to see a woman doctor, so Dr. Jo took a job in public health working in Hell's Kitchen, one of New York's poorest neighborhoods. She realized that, by improving the health of children, she could improve the health of a whole community. Dr. Jo assigned visiting nurses to new mothers, designed safe infant clothing, set up milk stations, and created training and licensing for midwives — and her work saved over 90,000 children. This picture book biography of a groundbreaking woman in medicine highlights how simple innovations can have an enormous impact.
As a child, Clara Barton struggled with shyness and fear... but her beloved brother insisted that she would find a way to change the world. When he suffered a terrible injury, Clara helped him recover — and found her life's work. Clara Barton would go on to become a teacher, a nurse on the front lines of the Civil War, and the founder of the American Red Cross. This Step Into Reading level 3 early reader biography of this inspiring role model will encourage young readers to face their own fears and follow their dreams. Older readers will enjoy Who Was Clara Barton?, which we recommend for ages 8 to 12.
This charmingly illustrated and educational book highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection profiles well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon. Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!
Learn the often neglected stories of women in science with these 52 engaging capsule biographies! Spanning centuries of courageous thinkers, author Rachel Swaby celebrates women whose specializations range from biology to physics to engineering, from famous names like Sally Ride and Ada Lovelace to lesser-known women like Stephanie Kwolek and Chien-Shiung Wu. While each individual's biography runs for only a few pages, Swaby has done an impressive job of conveying the essence of each scientist's life and work into the profiles, while her light tone urges readers to learn more about each of these groundbreaking women.
From 19th century battlefield nurses Clara Barton and Florence Nightingale, to modern medical miracle workers like Dr. Catherine Hamlin and Dr. Bonnie Simpson Mason, women have long played a key role in medicine — but their contributions have often been downplayed or forgotten. In this fascinating new title from the Women of Action series, readers get to meet some of the daring and trailblazing women of the past two hundred years of medicine. These women defied prejudices and expectations, created incredible new procedures, and devoted their lives to healing people around the world.
Medical Pretend Play Toys And Science Kits
This doctor kit features enough medical tools for a whole team of young doctors to play at the same time. The sturdy plastic 19-piece set includes stethoscope and pager with realistic sounds, battery operated cell phone, forceps, bandages, thermometer and more. Everything fits into a handy 12" x 14" x 3 ½ " plastic clamp-tight case.
She can learn about how the body works with this magnetic dress-up doll from Melissa and Doug! Place magnets on the body form to help kids visualize the skeleton, the circulatory system, the organs, and more. Anatomically correct magnets for both boys and girls are included, perfect for mixed groups. It's an excellent choice for the would-be doctor or anatomist on your list!
She'll be ready for any emergency with the Get Well First Aid Kit from Melissa & Doug! This 26-piece kit includes realistic fabric and plastic accessories: bandages, gauze, and medical tape; wipes, cooling spray, and an ice pack; and even a wrist cast, splint, and sling. The reusable activity card encourages kids to practice the steps of providing emergency care! When playtime is done, everything packs neatly into the snap-shut first aid box. It's a great way to foster pretend play and empower kids to imagine themselves helping others in the future!
Get ready for a checkup — as either the doctor or the patient — with this play set from Fisher-Price! If you're the doctor, grab your fabric doctor bag, which is full of doctor's tools with smooth wood accents. Or, take on the role of the patient with the fabric apron that reveals the inside of the body — including a few fun surprises like attachable cold viruses! It's a clever way to foster pretend play and teach a little anatomy along the way.
True Hero Lottie is going to the hospital — but she's not afraid in her super cool cape! This new 7.5" doll from the award-winning line, which is based on the body proportions of a 9-year-old, was inspired by 12-year-old Aoibheann Morgan, the European Digital Girl of the Year, who wanted to help reassure a friend who required frequent hospital visits. She created an app that teaches kids about the most common hospital procedures so they will feel prepared for their own hospital trip. True Hero Lottie comes with a colorful hospital gown, a teddy bear companion, and a QR code to download the app.
Imagine yourself as a doctor, nurse, or first responder with this high-quality kit from Janod! Inside the zippered fabric case, you'll find a selection of wooden doctor's tools, including a syringe fitted with an inner spring, a reflex hammer, a bottle of disinfectant, a stethoscope, an otoscope equipped with a magnifying glass, a thermometer, a tongue depressor, a prescription pad with a paper pencil, and a bandage roll. Kids will love how easy it is to carry all their tools with them for pretend play on the go, while parents will love the durable wood construction and non-toxic finishes.
Stop in for a checkup at the hospital play box from Playmobil! Open the doors on this set to reveal a fully-stocked hospital room, complete with an X-ray machine, a medical cart, a weight scale, an exam table and light, medical charts, and other accessories. Tell the doctor how you're feeling — she'll make sure you're well taken care of! Everything in this set packs neatly into the hospital box, and the top becomes a handle, making it easy to take your fun on the go.
To the rescue! Playmobil's rescue ambulance features lights and sirens just like a real ambulance. The two female paramedics are all set to transport their patient safely to the hospital for treatment. They'll get him comfortable on a stretcher and start and IV so they can deliver critical medications. Your future EMT will love getting to play with this set, or adding it to their existing Playmobil collection to make a world of play!
She can explore human anatomy with this double-sided magnetic puzzle from Learning Resources! Assemble the 17 pieces into a body over 3 feet high; one side of the pieces features the skeletal system, while the other side depicts the vital organs, major blood vessels, and major muscle groups. A multilingual activity guide includes ideas to help her broaden her understanding of the human body.
Ever wonder how your body works? Want to know the science behind muscles, sneezing, digestion, the senses, and more? Then this game from Professor Noggin is the perfect choice! This set includes thirty game cards, each with a combination of trivia, true or false, and multiple choice questions; roll the special three-numbered die to find out which question you need to answer. They also include two different difficulty levels, so the game can grow with your child! 2 to 8 players can join in with this intriguing game all about the human body.
Have some puzzling fun — and learn about the human body — with this 100-piece double-sided puzzle from Melissa & Doug! This detailed puzzle illuminates the inner workings of the body. One on side, you'll learn about the skeletal structure, and learn the names of major bones like the pelvis, humerus, radius, and skull. On the other side, you'll see the organs and circulatory system, and even discover details like the pituitary gland and appendix. This puzzle, which is four feet long when assembled, features an easy-clean surface and extra-thick pieces that ensure kids can put it together over and over.
Enter the world of the human body — with a little gross factor for some extra appeal! This 12" figure from SmartLab has removable squishy organs, as well as representation of the skeletal, vascular, and muscular systems. In the accompanying guide, research physician Lucille Kayes explains how the organs work together to digest food and provide energy and oxygen to the body. It's a unique way to examine the complex workings of the human body.
Medical-Themed Clothing And Costumes
Dream big for your baby with this adorable layette set from Baby Aspen! This 100% cotton layette set includes a soft green sleeper with a printed stethoscope and embroidered pen in the pocket, as well as a "surgical" cap and "hospital" booties. It all comes packed in a perfect gift box, so it's the perfect first gift for the baby you know is going places!
The doctor will see you now! With this set your little doctor will be fully equipped to run her practice. The set comes with a jacket and face mask, a stethoscope with sound effects, a reflex hammer, an ear scope, a syringe and a name tag for personalizing. The Melissa & Doug Doctor Role Play Costume Set has all the accessories for a full check-up! For two more fun costumes, check out the Pediatric Nurse Costume for ages 3 to 6 — which even comes with a plush "patient"! — and the Surgeon Costume Set for ages 4 to 8.
Beep....beep....beep... She knows the rhythm and the shape of these traces like the back of her hand — or foot! Made of 80% cotton, 15% nylon and 5% spandex, these heartbeat socks from Prestige Medical are perfect for the doctor or nurse in your life: they're comfortable to wear and show off her love of all things medical. These socks come in one size which fits most women's shoe sizes 6 to 10. For another fun pair, check out these Medicine Crew Socks.
Here's to the doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals — we know that they can do it! This shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company reimagines the feminist icon Rosie the Riveter in medical scrubs. This preshrunk 50% polyester, 25% ring spun cotton, and 25% rayon shirt was designed and made in the USA, and is available in women's sizes small to 2XL.