Hello! Kristin here, writing from the Peeps office on a beautiful spring day. Whew! What an amazing Great Glasses Play Day we had this year! More than thirty parent-organized meet ups happened all over the US and the world earlier this month. In case you’re not familiar, the Great Glasses Play Day is an annual event where we celebrate kids who wear glasses and patches. Here’s a post sharing how and why Ann Zawistoski and I co-founded it back in 2012. All of us at Peeps Eyewear were thrilled to once again co-host a meet up at the Madison Children’s Museum here in Madison, WI. Our event was made possible by support from Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, The Creative Company, the staff at Madison Children’s Museum, Molly’s Gluten-Free Cupcakes, and most of all, the families and little peeps who came to the museum to play! It was a fun-filled afternoon of games, arts and crafts and pretend play, plus learning about early vision health. The most important part was just for the attendees to have a chance to play with other kids in glasses and patches, and to see that there are lots of other kids just like them! As always, it was a beautiful sight to see. The kids loved exploring the museum with their new friends, and they also had a blast pretending to be eye doctors or Prevent Blindness vision screeners, as you can see in the photos above. It’s easy to set up your own pretend-play eye doctor office—older kids may even be able to do all the set up themselves. This type of play is a great way to demystify the eye appointment experience and talk about what to expect for kids who are new to it. And kids who are old pros just like acting out a familiar scene at home, and sharing their eye expertise with friends.
How to Make a Pretend-Play Eye Doctor Office Materials
- old frames, fake frames, or homemade frames to display
- white coat or some kind of jacket
- clipboard and pen
- laundry basket
- cardboard or construction paper
- markers or crayons
- Gather up your materials. If you don’t have any old frames, try making some out of pipe cleaners or cardboard. They can also be purchased at a local party store or at online stores like Oriental Trading Co.
- Make a sign out of cardboard or construction paper, advertising the name of the office.
- Use the same materials to make your own eye chart (or find a free printable online), stickers for your patients, etc..
- Display the frames in an upside-down laundry basket.
- Place the mirror somewhere at eye level so the patient can try out their frames.
- Let the kids take it from there! They can switch off being the doctor and the patient, and trying on all the frames until they find one that is just right.
These instructions are just a jumping-off point—there are so many ways to set up this pretend-play activity! Our friend and GGPD board member, Jessica Butler, has a great Pinterest board full of ideas if you want more inspiration. But really, encouraging kids to use their imaginations is always a winning idea! I hope you can join us at next year’s Great Glasses Play Day! Each year it gets bigger and better, and more little peeps get to meet new friends, creating amazing communities in their own neighborhoods. It’s a blast! Be sure to “like” us on Facebook so that you’ll stay updated