Making trauma dolls for Kidz First Hospital

Waiau Pa Brownies begin a new community project – by Megan Allan

Children learn while they are having fun. So when I was invited to go along to a Brownies meeting to teach the girls how to make trauma dolls, it was definitely educational – for them and me! Waiau Pa Brownies chose to make trauma dolls for Kidz First Hospital as their community project for this term, having been made aware of the project through a Kiwanis article in the Greenie (June-July page 27.) Made from calico (or similar plain fabric) that can be drawn on, the dolls are used by hospital doctors to demonstrate medical procedures to their young patients. At the end of the hospital stay each child is able to take their special doll home, generally becoming a treasured toy.

The trauma doll project fits neatly with Brownies philosophy, especially in teaching these 7 to 10 year old girls social awareness and having a lot of fun in the process. Their milestones and achievements are recognised with badges, which they will be given for having completed the trauma doll project.

Armed with several metres of calico fabric, doll patterns and sewing notions I arrived at the Waiau Pa Church Hall to show these girls how to go about making the dolls. They did everything except machine stitch the dolls, which was impractical in the allotted time. I had taken two sets of dolls with me so they could draw and cut around the patterns of the first set and then stuff the second set with polyester filling. That was absolutely the most fun! The filling was used for all sorts of other decorations before it made its way into the bodies of the dolls! There was a great deal of creative imagination to the fore but at the end of the evening each girl had completed a doll to send to children at Kidz First Hospital.