The hard plastic clinic can open up the roof to hold small pieces. Six doors, each with its own color coded key, opens up to hold one of the two stuffed animals included in this set.
Set includes clinic case with carrying handle, stuffed cat, stuffed dog, key ring with six keys, stethoscope, thermometer, mirror, syringe, and pair of tweezers.
The stethoscope does not function, and is only used as a prop for pretend play.
Dimensions: 12 X 4.5 X 10 inches
Children can pretend to nurse sick their furry friends back to health. The six working keys challenge and build hand-eye coordination skills.
The “roof” of the clinic case opens up to store the accessories.
Getting mostly great reviews from users, this toy seems to appeal to children in two ways.
The use of keys is almost always intriguing, and for the most part, the doors on this set lock and unlock with enough ease that even very young children should be able to make them work without much difficulty. This does require some coordination to begin with, and for this reason we agree with the manufacturer’s recommended age of 2 years and over.
As well as the kinesthetic enjoyment brought on by keys and locks, focusing on taking care of sick animals is something that can help nurture an increased sense of empathy, as well as confidence a child may have that their actions matter.
Many users report this being a toy that young children enjoy playing with for over an hour at a time on their own, but that sharing may be difficult. After all, there is only one set of keys, so a little bit of tension may arise from arguing over who gets to use them.
Slightly older children (4-6 years) are better at sharing, and many users report this toy becoming a central prop used in pretend scenarios. Watching children play Animal Hospital can sometimes become a rather moving drama. Will Rover ever be able to fetch again? Will Sir Mittens III recover from that awful incident involving many, many skeins of yarn? Playing out narratives is a great way for children to be imaginative and explore their own creative energy.
We would like to mention that a few children may decide to use this toy as a jail rather than a clinic. These pretend dramas may play out differently.
Included accessories, such as the syringe and thermometer add to the overall pretend-ability of this toy, though a few users have felt these accessories look a little cheap. We haven’t found that to be the case in our opinion, but we understand if some people really get a kick out of having more realistic looking props.
Overall, the accessories are solid, heavy enough to feel stable in a child’s hand, and not flimsy. The stethoscope is non-functional, which may be a little disappointing for some children.
The two stuffed animals that come with the toy are cute, super soft, and can be tossed in the washing machine for cleaning. They appear well made, and we are not concerned with the stitching coming undone during normal play.
The case is sturdy, and the doors do not fall off, even when being dropped off a counter onto a wood floor.
The compartments are large enough that a toddler can fit their fist (or at least most of it) into the area to retrieve a toy. The included stuffed animals have to be squished to fit into the space, which may flatten their shape over time.
Aside from the pretend play, and the fun of locks and keys, this toy also gives children a chance to see what all can be fit into the compartments. Our favorite finds have been loose change, small bugs, not-so-small bugs, dirt, rocks, and pet food.
We did note a few mentions of trouble with the keys. Each key is color coordinated to the door that it opens, but there have been a few instances of the keys not matching the right door. This can be fixed by getting out a screwdriver and manually removing and replacing the door to the correct colored lock. Alternately, any set that does not have the correct alignment of keys and doors can be sent back to the place of purchase and switched out for a correct set.
Though the case is supposed to latch shut and be carried by the attached handle, some users found the latch to be insufficiently secure enough to be held by the handle.
- Stuffed animals can be washed in the washing machine, or with a damp rag
- Plastic case and accessories can be wiped down with a damp rag
For more in-depth information on how to clean toys, please see our blogs, The Cleaning Guide for Toys, and How to Clean Plush Toys.
Parts and Pieces
From the B. Toys website regarding replacement parts:
“We don’t have replacement parts for all of our toys, but let us know what you’re missing and we’ll do what we can to help. Call us at 1-866-665-5524. We’re around Monday through Friday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. You can also send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. So we can help you faster, please include your phone number and address and write MISSING PART in the subject line with the name of the toy.”
Children who are still putting small objects into their mouths will need supervision when using this toy. The stuffed animals may be chewed on, and this could cause a potential choking hazard.