Prescription for Play
... Helping Kids Feel Like Kids, Instead of Patients
Earlier this week, the American Academy of Pediatrics released recommendations for play. Yes... play. Buzz spread across the world of hospital volunteers, child life, music therapy, the Child Life Zone Network, hospital school, facility therapy dogs and therapeutic play programs. It felt exciting to have the work we do recognized by leading minds in pediatrics.
At the same time... well, of course! We know the power of play. It's a motivator, stress-reliever, powerhouse for creativity and thought. Play helps our littlest thinkers to process the world, meet developmental milestones, work through challenges and socialize. Long before we can walk and talk, we play. Research may legitimize play in academic spheres but it's not news for any kid, parent, teacher or lover of finding joy in playing for the sake of fun.
Our volunteers are here to make sure kids play during their time at the hospital. Whether stuck in their rooms or up and chatting in The Zone, our phenomenal people and programs help kids smile, laugh, cuddle, play and create - as much as they can while they are here.
Our child life specialists are experts, using play to teach and prepare about medical experiences. Play is a way to cope and process emotions. Play can reveal misconceptions and fears. It has clinical purpose and therapeutic value in the hands of our child life specialists, facility therapy dog handler and music therapist.
So, for those who are looking for any excuse, or those who need a little convincing, the findings are in... so go out and play!
All the best,