Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Importance of Play

Play is so important even if your child is ill. It is difficult when your child doesn't feel well to include play during part of the day. However, if your child can sit up in  bed with a doll, match box cars, or even crayons or play dough, it can distract from the pain and discomfort of being ill.

Things to consider when you child is playing in bed.     

*Portable bed tables make a good surface for drawing.
*Use a clip board if a tray table is not available.
* Plastic place mats make an easy surface to do clay and play dough projects because they are portable and clean easily.
*Keep books, crayons, plastic scissors, and glue sticks in a tote bag for easy reach and organization. They are easy to carry to the hospital or bedside for a quick art and craft playtime.
* Play music or music videos in place of television. Music can be soothing and comforting during playtime.
* Offer opportunities for your child to pretend and use their imagination. Playing and pretending is a form of guided imagery allowing your child to forget for a moment pain or treatment that may be part of the day.
* Make sure that after playtime is over that toys and choking hazards are removed from the bed. It is important that your child is not lying on something that could cause skin breakdown.

Ideas for playing in bed:
  • Dressing up with silly hats or PJ's and playing with stuffed animals
  • Making cards, posters, or door decorations to spruce up the "sick" room.
  • Making forts, mountains, and roadways with blankets, pillows, and towels to use with small cars or trucks.
  • Board games or card games
  • Hand held electronic games
  • Portable crafts specific for boys or girls. Boys can paint wooden toys or dinosaurs, Girls love to paint wooden frames or pictures.
  • Felt, foam, pipe cleaners, pom-poms, and glue... all kinds of crafts can be dreamed up with these items.
  • Decorate hats, aprons, or bags with paint, jewels, or fabric and buttons.
The ideas are endless. When you your child is ill for a day or two these ideas may seem unimportant.  If your child is seriously ill for months and even years, making time for play is invaluable. Helping children play in an age appropriate way is priceless.

1 comment:

Carla said...

I so agree--not only is play important to kid's development, I am convinced it speeds the healing process. These are fabulous ideas!