Monday, February 9, 2015

Creative Ways to Keep a Little One Entertained in the Hospital

If ever there was a time to Think for Play, it is when your child needs you to comfort and distract them from a unfamiliar (potentially scary) situation. Our friends Luke and Sarah are dealing with a time such as this. Their youngest daughter, Lila Grace, has been diagnosed with a Wilm's Tumor and is in Vanderbilt Children's Hospital dealing with I.V.s and other stressful things. We love this family so much (send up a prayer for them, if you have a heart to!) and really can't get little Lila off of our minds, so we used some of this preoccupation to brainstorm some ways to keep a precious little girl or boy a bit more comfortable during trying times away from home.

 Flashlights and shadow play: 

Grab a flashlight, turn down the lights and play! Make hand shadow puppets with your child or cut silhouettes out of paper and shine the light on them to make pictures on the wall. (We found this and other awesome tips here, on the Mother website.)

Doll play: 

Aside from the opportunity to introduce the little one to a needed procedure in a non threatening way, plain old doll play is therapeutic on its own. Doll play reduces stress and bonds parents and children.  

Drawing Games: 

A particularly hilarious game is Toaster Bunny. First, think of two very different items and ask the child to draw a picture of what the two things would look like combined. Then let them make up a combo of oddities for you to draw! This has resulted in some very entertaining drawings.

Scavenger Hunt: 

Make a list of a few things to look for like 'A Blue Couch' or 'A Door With the Number 3' and other things to make the trip through the halls a bit more fun. If you like color scavenger hunts you can adapt this Color Wheel Scavenger Hunt. It was originally designed for hunting through nature, but you can just as easily hunt for color in the hospital :).

Through the years we know that some of you have had to deal with similarly scary situations with your children or grand children and came up with creative ideas to keep them peaceful, help them take their medicine or distract them from uncomfortable procedures. We would welcome your ideas in the comments or on FaceBook and would love to pass them on to Luke and Sarah.

Here is the blog that Luke and Sarah have set up to keep everyone updated on Lila's progress:
Please keep her in your prayers!! 


  1. a jar of old buttons was something I always loved to dump out, sort, arrange, admire...

    1. Oh cool!!! It would be fun to see buttons poured out all over the blankets! This would be a great way to spend time...