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.
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.
- 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.
- 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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