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I am a big fan of a bargain, and I also like to do different role play activities with my kids. We have a toy kitchen, and a toy shop set, alongside many fancy dress costumes, so when I saw this Drs bag I thought I would add to our games.
I mostly bought it because I spotted it for sale on the discount website halfcost. It was only £5, so I thought to myself what the heck, and added it to my basket as a christmas present for my littlest son who was aged two and a half at the time I gave it to him. I thought this would be a good sort of age for it, as he was old enough to know what we were trying to emulate, but far too heavy handed for a normal set. I didn't fancy him pretending to check my temperature or give me an injection. I could just imagine being poked in the eye or whacked round the head.
When I bought it from half cost, I assumed with all the parts being soft, it was actually aimed at the younger toddler market, and although I have seen that this set is suitable from age 1 plus, it is meant for slightly older 3 plus children to get the most from it.
I hadn't realised that Oskar and Ellen do quite a big range of soft toys, such as a tea set, a tool belt, and a fruit basket. All look really child friendly, with the soft pieces. They all come with a ridiculously high price tag though. I saw this Drs bag online priced between £25 and £30. I would certainly not have paid this, as with the limited appeal it has had in my house, I almost regret paying £5 for it.
The set itself looks very interesting and appealing to kids. They will want to get it all out of the bag, but then they will look at you as if to say 'is that all' after a few minutes of playing.
A stethoscope - this is small, and definitely designed for a child to pretend to use. I tried and the bits that go into your ears were not long enough to go round my face, so it looked silly. I showed the boys how to use it, but as it did nothing that exciting. The end that the Dr would put on your chest has a squeaker in it. While this might entertain a one year old for a short time, they were unimpressed.
An apron - this is quite a nice design. White, with a red edging and a red cross on the front of it, It is more like a tabard. It sit over the childs head so that it covers their shoulders. You then fasten the velcro under their armpits. The kids didn't mind wearing this, although they could not get into it themselves and definitely needed Mummy help. They could take it off themselves, but usually with this sort of thing, they are happy to help each other a little before needing mum to intervene. The novelty of wearing it doesn't last that long.
A blood pressure cuff - this is probably the most used item in the bag. The cuff part is quite tactile as you can fasten it around an arm and pretend to take the blood pressure. The cuff is quite small though, so while you would be able to adjust the velcro to take the blood pressure around the upper arm, on my arm, it barely fits round my wrist. There is then a wire with a gauge, that doesn't move as it is stitched on, and a part you squeeze, which, how original - contains another squeaker. Again, interest was lost after a few goes.
A torch - this is just a shaped stuffed bit of fabric in the shape of a torch with a pretend fabric on/off switch. They picked it up, turned it round, and we then played with our own little torch.
A medicine pot - a fabric cylinder, with a lid that kind of opens and closes. It is so naff. We pretended at first it was full of medicine that needed injecting into Mummy. The pot does not stand up, so I needed to hold it up for them to put the syringe in. As soon as you try to stand it anywhere it overbalances. Pretending it was a pot with our own spoon for a liquid medicine, or even a pot with tablets were similarly unsatisfying.
A syringe - similar to the torch, this is just a bit of shaped fabric, and it looks nice but doesn't do a lot. The only good thing is that when you have a child who is heavy handed like mine, there is no way he can hurt me with it as there are no sharp edges to it.
A thermometer - this again, is just shaped fabric, but got a bit more use as at least we could pretend to take our temperature with it by putting it under our arms.
The design of this set is really nice, but I just think there is a limited appeal to it, and I would be devastated to have paid so much for it to then find it was poor. It just hasn't sparked their imagination at all, whereas I thought they would love it.
At first I wondered if maybe a little girl might find it more appealing, but I don't tend to hold to gender bias. While my boys do like cars and bikes, they also have a kitchen and a toy hoover. I think the problem is just that they are too old for it already. A younger child might find that it holds their attention longer.
But, as they have got older, my children don't always want to have to have me involved in their games. They like to be able to do stuff independently, and this little Drs bag just hasn't done that for them.
It is made beautifully, and there are a good selection of accessories, but it just didn't appeal here I'm afraid. By the time kids are 3 they know when something is a bit naff, and this unfortunately is.
My daughter loves role play activities, so when I spied this doctor role play kit on a discounted web site, I snapped it up thinking she would love it. It was only after I bought it I realised it was retailing on Amazon for around £14.99. I only paid a third of that for mine.
The set comes packed into a doctor bag with a handle. All of the items included in the set are soft and made of material so this is an ideal set for younger children. Made by Oskar and Ellen this wasn't a brand I have ever come across before buying this set.
The bag itself is a nice size for younger children at around 20cm wide, 13cm high, and the handles are padded well with foam making them chunky and easy to hold. As you undo the zip, inside you will find the accessories you need to transform yourself into the doctor of the house.
Also included in the set is a stethoscope, medicine pot, thermometer, syringe, blood pressure cuff, torch and an apron.
Aside from the apron, each piece of the set is stuffed with a foam filling and made from material. Immediately I liked this idea because of the safety issue, and also I thought the pieces would last a lot longer than perhaps a plastic set.
We merrily played with this for a few months in our house before I started to notice wear and tear on the pieces which was a shame. The zip on the actual bag started to show signs of strain before it gave up completely and broke. The first time we tried to put everything back into the bag we noticed that it was a tight fit, but to be honest I just thought that it was down to us not putting it back properly. Sadly however many ways I tried, it never did fit quite as well as it should have.
The blood pressure cuff came with a squeaky ball on the end and a clock on another end. This was a nice idea, but the squeaker never quite worked as well as I thought it would, and sounded more like a cheap dog's toy than something for a child. This didn't last too long without the seams tearing apart on around the squeaker.
The clock on the other end came away from the rest of the cuff quite quickly as well. I know how my daughter plays with toys and she's not amazingly rough. Even if she was though I would expect the stitching to last longer than it did.
This was the first time we thought that the fact it was a soft toy all round wasn't perhaps such a bonus after all.
As for the rest of the items included, the torch has held up well, but essentially it is just a padded piece of material in a torch like shape. It doesn't do anything and it really is down to the imagination of the child to get the best from it.
The pill pot has held up well, but the lid has never sat properly on the base since we had it. I'm convinced this is down to the design and the fact it's made from stiffened material. I would almost go as far to say it doesn't really have a great purpose within the set.
The apron is one of the best items within the set. It fits over the child's head like a tabard apron and fits a small child well. I would say a child between 2-4 years would be fine for the size. My daughter has taken to placing this on one of her oversized teddy bears however rather than wearing it herself. This is a good idea as it means the set wasn't a complete waste of money when she incorporates her stuffed toys to play with the set.
Sadly the stethoscope went the same way as the blood pressure cuff which was a shame.
Overall, I am glad I didn't pay full price for this set as there is no way its worth that much at all. I'm sure there are much better doctor set's available on the market for the same price. We have slowly thrown pieces of ours away and just kept the bits that are still intact and that are being played with.