Fabulous Find Friday: Joy Jars

Today’s Fabulous Find is Joy Jars. Joy Jars were started by a young girl named Jessie while she was fighting her own battle with cancer. The jars are created to bring joy and hope to kids in the hospital. Each jar is filled with an assortment of toys and activities for each age group. We used these in my internship and the kids loved unpacking their jars. You’d be surprised how many things they fit into each jar!


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X-Ray Prep

An X-Ray is probably one of the easiest medical procedures to prepare a child for because it’s non-invasive. The easiest way is to explain that an X-Ray is a special picture of your bones and insides so that the doctor can figure out why you aren’t feeling good or why something hurts.

The child’s big job during their X-Ray pictures is to stay still. Just like when mommy or daddy take pictures of them on their phones, if the child moves than the picture will be blurry. So it’s important for the kids to stay still so that they don’t have to take more pictures. The pictures usually only mean a minute or two of keeping still and then the pictures will be over.

Some kids are nervous about being in the medical environment, even if there won’t be any pokes. It can be helpful to explain what each thing in the room means and does, like the bed where they will lie down and the camera that will take their picture.


Crash Course: My Little Pony

My Little Pony is one of the latest crazes for little girls, along with Shopkins and Littlest Pet Shop. Many of my patients know the ponies names based on their colors and I never know which is which. So I thought I’d make this helpful study guide so both you (my readers) and I can learn more about the ponies and build rapport with our patients. Many of you will remember My Little Pony from when you were little. There have been a variety of relaunches of the ponies so this article will focus on the TV show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic which is available on Netflix.

The show is focused on Twilight Sparkle and her friends who all live in the town of Ponyville in Equestria. In each episode, these ponies go on adventures and learn new lessons about friendship.

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Twilight Sparkle is the main character who learns more and more about friendship with each adventure she goes on.

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Spike is Twilight Sparkle’s baby dragon assistant.

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Rainbow Dash is a tomboy pegasus who helps to control the weather and loves flying.

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Rarity is a unicorn with a flair for fashion and glamour.

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Fluttershy is fond of nature and takes care of animals, but she is a shy and timid pony.

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Pinkie Pie is an energetic and active pony who enjoys hosting parties.

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Applejack is a hard working pony who spends time on her family’s apple farm.

IV Prep

These prep posts are helpful for students and families alike. For students, it’s helpful to know some of the basic preps before you go in for an interview. Whether it’s a practicum, internship or job application, it’s often helpful to give examples of how you would prepare a child for an upcoming procedure. For families, here are some simple explanations of common medical procedures.

I wanted to start with IV prep since it’s one of the most common procedures that children encounter in the hospital setting.

  1. First is why are you getting an IV? An easy explanation is that the doctor wants to give your body a special drink that goes straight into your blue rivers (veins).
  2. Next comes the tourniquet. It’s like a big rubber band that gives your arm a tight hug. This helps the nurse find your veins.
  3. Alcohol Swab is easy because it doesn’t hurt at all. I usually just explain that the nurse will use a cold and funny smelling wipe to make your arm clean before doing the IV.
  4. The next step depends on the hospital and the person doing the IV. Many pediatric facilities use a numbing agent so that kids feel pressure but not the pinch. These might be J-tips (which makes a popping sound like a soda can), Synera patches or Emla Cream (both of these need to be on the skin for about 30 minutes before they numb the area) and Pain Ease spray (which is a cold numbing spray).
  5. Now comes the IV placement. I don’t tell kids there’s a needle unless they ask or already know. I focus on the fact that it’s a little straw used to give your body a drink. I like to let kids touch and manipulate the IV (without the needle of course) so that they can understand that it’s small and flexible. The needle doesn’t stay in your arm.
  6. It’s not over when the IV is placed. There are still bandages and tape that are used to hold the IV in place. It’s important to be honest with kids and make sure they know ALL the steps which includes the final step with the “stickers.”


How do you explain an IV to children? I’d love to hear how you “translate” big scary procedures for children?

Fabulous Find Friday: Chewelry

Today’s Fabulous Find is Chewelry! Chewelry is exactly what it sounds like, jewelry that you can chew. Many kiddos in the hospital have sensory issues, especially if they have been chronically hospitalized. There are also many developmental delays associated with chronic hospitalization but it’s often hard to find a developmentally appropriate toy when the child is typical physically. Chewelry is designed for kids and adults which means it’s helpful regardless of the person’s age. It’s also designed to be stylish so it’s not as obvious that it’s meant to be chewed. But nonetheless, it can be a soothing chew when needed.

ARK's Pizza Textured Chew Necklace ARK's Basketball Chew Necklace ARK's Chewmoji™ Necklace

Crash Course: Bunk’D

Today’s Crash Course show is geared more towards late school age and early adolescents. If the characters look familiar, that’s because Bunk’D is a spinoff from another Disney show, Jessie. The Ross siblings attend Camp Kikiwaka where they follow in their parent’s footsteps as counselors and campers.

emma-ross-e1526832043144.jpg Emma Ross is played by Peyton List. As the oldest Ross sibling, she hass a bubbly and focused personality. She starts the series at a Counselor in Training (CIT) but by the end of season two she has become a camp counselor.

ravi ross Ravi Ross is played by Karan Brar. Ravi is also a counselor in training who is known for being nice but also a little naive. He has a 7-foot long pet lizard names Ms. Kipling. At the end of season 2, Ravi also becomes a counselor.

zuri ross Zuri Ross is played by Skai Jackson. Zuri is the youngest Ross sibling and is a camper at Camp Kikiwaka. Zuri is an energetic and happy girl who goes on adventures with her friends and siblings.

lou bunkd Lou Hockhauser is played by Miranda May. Lou is the cheerful head counselor who is also close friends with Emma. Although sometimes a little over the top with her enthusiasm and energy, Lou always means well and wants to help her friends.

xander-bunkd.jpg Xander McCormick is played by Kevin G. Quinn. Xander is a musical counselor who dates Emma through most of the series. Xander shares a cabin with Ravi and often helps him out with his Counselor in Training tasks and duties.

tiffany-bunkd.jpg Tiffany Chen is played by Nina Lu. Tiffany is considered a perfectionist who tries to impress her mother with her good grades. She chooses to study most of the time instead of having fun but with Zuri as her bunkmate she does go one fun adventures.

jorge-bunkd.jpg Jorge Ramirez is played by Nathan Arena. Jorge is Zuri’s good friend and he is also a friend of Ravi’s. Jorge is an energetic and hyper friend who is known for being a chronic liar and telling fibs.

To learn more about Bunk’D, check out the Bunk’D Wiki page


Fabulous Find Friday: Bare Books

An important part of helping kids cope with stressful situations is to allow them to express themselves. By giving them room to share and feel, we allow kids to process their emotions. Bare Books is a company that publishes blank books and puzzles to allow kids to use their imagination to create! The books can be used to help children tell their story, whatever story that is.



Crash Course: Dora the Explorer

And now a friend that I’m sure we all know and love, DORA! Here’s your crash course in Dora the Explorer! Dora is a bilingual character who goes on adventures with her friends through interactive TV episodes.

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Dora is Latina tomboy who goes on a different adventure each episode. She engages with the audience by asking questions and encouraging viewers to help her solve her adventures.

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Boots is one of Dora’s trusty companions throughout her adventures.  He’s a 5 year old monkey who is Dora’s best friend. He might make mistakes, but the smiley monkey bounces back quickly.

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Maps helps Dora figure out where to go on their adventures.

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Backpack is Dora’s most prepared friend. She is a magic satchel who has everything that Dora needs for her adventures.

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Tico is a Spanish speaking squirrel who lives in the woods and can operate any vehicle. He is known for being fun and brave at the same time.

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Benny is a 6 year old bull who lives on a farm with his grandmother. He speaks English and is a little accident prone.

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Isabella (Isa) is an iguana who loves to work in her garden. She is cool and calm and helps Boots and Dora out with information during their adventures.

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Swiper is the main antagonist in Dora the Explorer. He is quick and a master of disguise who often tries to swipe things from Dora. She’s known to warn him; “Swiper no swiping!”


Learn more about Dora by visiting her Wiki page, Dora the Explorer Wiki Page

Fabulous Find Fridays: When Someone Very Special Dies

Last month I share with you a great journal for children who are coping with a loved one’s serious illness. Sometimes those loved ones die which means the child needs a different kind of support. One of my favorite bereavement resources for school age children is When Someone Very Special Dies by Marge Heegaard. This book is also a journal that encourages children to reflect on their experience following a death. Through language and spaces to draw, children are accompanied in their grief journey.

Crash Course: Clifford the Big Red Dog

Today’s crash course is probably one that you already know about but since it’s on Netflix right now, I thought I’d share with a little more about Clifford the Big Red Dog.

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Clifford the Big Red Dog is the main character. He started out as a normal small puppy, but Clifford soon grew into a big guy. He is thoughtful and caring and very loyal to his owner, Emily Elizabeth.

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Emily Elizabeth is Clifford’s owner. She got him as a birthday present when she was 6 years old and they’ve been best friends ever since.

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Cleo is one of Clifford’s friends. She is an energetic and sometimes selfish poodle who doesn’t always tell the truth. Her catchphrase is “Have I ever steered you wrong?”


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T-Bone is a bulldog who loves food! He is cowardly and clumsy, but he does have moments of bravery when he shines.


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Mac is a greyhound who wants to be a part of Clifford’s friend gang but he can be very vain and bossy. Although he is sometimes selfish, Mac is dedicated to his owner, Jetta.

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Jetta is Mac’s owner. She is a friend of Emily Elizabeth’s but is known for being self-centers and sometimes oblivious to other’s feelings. She tends to claim her accomplishments are bigger and better than her friends.

Visit Clifford’s Wikipedia Page to learn more about this show.

Check out the Clifford theme song: