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Supportive Play

children playing

Play is an essential, natural part of childhood, important in its own right. Play facilitates coping, mastery, self-expression, creativity, achievement and learning, and is vital to a child’s optimal growth and development. Play is an integral aspect of child life practice with infants, children and youth of all ages.

Play Resources

There are many areas in Bloomberg Children’s Center for patients and families to play and participate in child life programming. The David M. Rubenstein Building for Child Health Outpatient Services has play areas within the family lounges.

Play AreaLocation
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry12 S
Outpatient Oncology11 N
Inpatient Oncology11 S
Great Room11
Adolescent Medical Surgical10 N
School Age Medical Surgical/Burn10 S
Pediatric Care and Clinical Research9 N
Infant/Toddler Medical Surgical9 S
Pediatric Intensive Care4 S
Pre Surgical Area4 N
Children and Family Resource Library3
CCTV StudioMain Loop (2)
Sarah’s GardenPeterson Family Courtyard, next to Balducci's

Bedside Play

  • If your child is not able to leave his or her room, you can ask your nurse or Child Life specialist for play ideas, items and materials to play at the bedside.
  • If your child does not feel well enough to play, they can direct you in playing for them. This can be an empowering experience for children. Ask your Child Life specialist for ideas.

Therapeutic Play

  • Child life specialists are skilled in engaging children in developmentally supportive play that aids their emotional well-being. These experiences allow children to process and express their emotions, while providing caregivers an opportunity to learn from their child.

Health Care Play

  • When provided with real or pretend medical supplies, children are given the opportunity to play through their health care experiences. Child life specialists can use health care play to help prepare children for an experience they will soon encounter or help them process an event after they have experienced it.

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