Are you looking for a way to give back to your community and want to make a difference in a unique way? Consider donating to a Child Life Program in your area!
You can contact the Child Life Program at your local hospital to learn about what their needs are and help them support children and families by collecting the things they need or by donating the funding for them to purchase items. When children and families go to the hospital, as I am sure you have experienced, that last thing you are thinking, is to bring toys and activities with you! Parents and kids are under stress and are just trying to get to the hospital quickly.
When kids are able to play in the hospital they are able to have fun, learn, and cope better with the experiences they are having. They feel more comfortable in the environment they are in, which helps them to feel less stressed and anxious. Ultimately, this helps parents to be less stressed and anxious too!
You can be a part of helping them have better hospital experience! Keep in mind kids and teenagers both benefit from your donations, so don’t forget about the activities for older kids! Most hospitals will require donated items to be new and do not have any cloth material on them due to infection control policies. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about what you might want to donate:
*Infant toys- mobiles, rattles, light up toys, musical toys
*Toddler toys- light up toys, musical toys, medical play kits, stuffed animals
*Preschool toys- bubbles, animals, people figures, action figures, cars, dolls, pretend play sets, books, stickers, board games, medical play kits, arts and crafts supplies, stuffed animals
*School age toys- books, Nerf balls, board games, arts and crafts supplies, stickers, stuffed animals, hand held games, card games, movies
*Teenagers- video game systems and games, sports balls, nail polish, books, stationary, board games, card games, movies
I can tell you first hand, I have seen the joy play brings for children and their families in the medical environment. A crying child, scared of the hospital often stops at the sight of toys or bubbles. A parent breathes a sign of relief to see their child relax and engage in play with other kids. A child makes a card or picture for their parent who is in the hospital. What a big difference, even a small donation can make!