Fabulous Find Friday: Regional Child Life Groups

Going to the national conference is a great way for professionals and students alike to network and learn new things about the growing field of Child Life. But sometimes it’s not possible to attend due to costs or scheduling conflicts. Luckily, there are a variety of regional Child Life Groups around the United States that offer conferences, student seminars and PDUs. These resources are typically cheaper than the national conference and closer to where you live so you don’t have to travel as far or take as much time off of work.

Click here, Regional Child Life Groups, to find a group near you.


3 things to know before the Exam

Yesterday I took the certification exam and thankfully, I passed! There are a couple things that I wish someone had told me while I was stressing right before I started the exam, so here is some advice for you;

  1. Take a Deep Breath! By the time you get to the exam, you have already completed classes and an internship. You have probably also done hundreds of volunteer hours, practicums, conferences and read many books on working with children. So while you may think have been studying the last couple months since you finished your internship, you actually have been studying for this test since you started your Child Life journey three or more years ago.
  2. It might not take the whole 4 hours. When I learned that it was a 4 hour exam, I started to freak out. Even the SAT and ACT are less than four hours! But the exam is actually 150 multiple choice questions. Everyone is different and luckily the 4 hours gives you plenty of time to answer all the questions and go back and check them. But as a fast test taker, it only took me an hour to complete.
  3. The practice tests really do help! Besides the suggested readings, I did many practice tests. These were the most helpful. They help you understand how the test questions are designed and what kinds of answers are your options.  If you study nothing else, do the practice tests!

Check out the Association of Child Life Professionals Candidate Manual to learn more about the exam and find the list of suggested reading.


Crash Course: Paw Patrol

Welcome to our new series, Crash Course! The easiest way to relate to kids is to talk about something that they are interested in. One of my favorite distractions is just talking to kids about their favorite TV show or their favorite song. I’ve definitely changed at least a few tears to giggles by belting out the Paw Patrol theme song. Not everyone has the time to watch these shows and research them, but I do! So here is your crash course on Paw Patrol!

Paw Patrol is about Ryder and his pups that go out on missions and save the day. Below is your guide to the characters and a little about them to start your Paw Patrol discussions.

File:PAW Patrol Chase Standard.pngThis is Chase! Chase is a police puppy. He wears blue and his most popular catchphrases are “Chase is on the Case!” and “These paws uphold the laws.”

Image result for marshall paw patrolOur next friend in Marshall! Marshall is a Dalmatian who drives a fire truck. Marshall’s catchphrases are “Ready for a ruff ruff rescue!” and “I’m fired up!”

Image result for skye paw patrolSkye looks pretty in pink flying above everyone! She is known to say “Let’s take to the sky” and “This pups gotta fly.”Image result for rocky paw patrolI’m gonna be honest, this next pup is my favorite. Rocky wears green and he’s known for caring about the environment. His symbol is a recycling symbol. Rocky’s phrases are “Don’t lose it, reuse it!” and “Why trash it when you can stash it?”

Image result for rubble paw patrol

Rubble is our construction friend. Always ready to dig up some dirt, Rubble rocks his yellow outfit! Rubble’s phrases are “Let’s dig it!” and “Rubble on the Double!”

Image result for zuma paw patrol

Zuma is our water loving friends. He scuba dives and cheers “Let’s dive it!” and “Ready, Set, Get wet!”

Image result for everest paw patrol

Everest isn’t part of the theme song or in every episode, but she is a part of the team and someone you should know. Everest is the snow puppy. Her catchphrases are “I was born to slide,” “Ice or snow, I’m ready to go” and “Off the Trail, Everest won’t fail”

Image result for ryder paw patrol

Last but not least is the puppies fearless leader, Ryder! Ryder is a 10 y.o boy who calls the pups to action when there’s an emergency. His catchphrases are “No job is too big, no pup is too small,” “PAW Patrol is on a roll” and “Whenever you’re in trouble, yelp for help!”

Now you know the characters, the next thing is to learn all the words to the theme song. Make sure to turn on the captions when you watch so you can know the words.


Check out the PAW Patrol Wiki Page to learn more!

Fabulous Find Friday: Fubbles No-Spill Tumbler

Today’s Fabulous Find is probably one that many of you know but I want to share with you all nonetheless; Fubbles No-Spill Tumbler! These tumblers are the best for bubbles because while it is easy for children to use the bubble wand, it is also hard for the bubble goo to spill out of the tumbler while the child is holding it. By using a container that doesn’t’ spill, it empowers the children and allows them control over their environment (while also not making a mess). And we all know how effective bubbles are for helping kids cope in the hospital! 😉


Fabulous Find Friday: The Compassionate Friends

Today I want to share a resource for you to share with those you meet in the clinical setting. There is a group called The Compassionate Friends and their mission is to provide support to families after a child dies. The most interesting part about this group is that they aren’t just a support group for those who have lost a child but everyone involved has lost a child. From the local chapter to leadership in the national office, everyone involved has lost a child. So when people reach out for support, the people that greet them “know.” As much as we try to empathize and support families that are grieving, we don’t really know what it’s like to lose a child unless we have lost one. So by providing a support group to families of those who have walked this path as well, we offer those in pain another resource where they can begin to find healing.

The Compassionate Friends isn’t just for parents, but they also provide support to grandparents and siblings. Through their newsletters and support groups, anyone who has lost a child can find someone who shares their pain and really understands what it’s like to lose a child.

tcf logo

Fabulous Find Friday: Flipeez Hats

If you haven’t seen these hats, then you are missing out. The Flipeez hats are children’s hats that are monsters and also popular characters, like Paw Patrol and Elsa. But the best part is that they move. The ears on the Paw Patrol puppies move and Olaf’s arms open wide for warm hugs.

I know that you’re probably wondering why I’m sharing children’s apparel instead of tools and Child Life finds but these hats could actually make an awesome Child Life find. The character hats, like Paw Patrol and Frozen, fit adults! As a ski instructor in the 3-6 year old program, I love using these hats as distraction to help the kids cope with the new environment and stress and uncertainty of doing a sport they haven’t done before. When you’re talking to a child and the ears on your hat suddenly move, they pause and kinda watch in shock. As you continue to wiggle your ears, the kids become more engaged and eventually demonstrate their comfort level by asking to try the hat themselves.

olaf hat

Fabulous Find Fridays: My First Look and Find Books

My top three distraction tools for young children are light spinners, bubbles and MY FIRST LOOK AND FIND BOOKS! There is so much to love about these books, but here are my top three reasons.

First, they come in two sizes. The small one are nice because they fit well in a distraction bag, but I prefer the larger books. They are 12 inches tall which makes them perfect for blocking children’s views of procedures. When it comes to sutures and IVs where the patient has received numbing medication, I prefer to block the procedure from the child’s view as I think it promotes positive coping for toddler and preschool age children.

Second, they are easy to do. During my internship, I worked with a two year old oncology patient who loved these books. After only a couple times of my showing her how to do the books, the patient was able to find the indicated items with no help. But older preschools also like them because there are many items to find which makes it seem more challenging for them.

Third, the books are based of popular children’s TV shows and there are many versions. This allows you to personalize care and also diversify your distraction tools for chronic patients that you see frequently.

Fabulous Find Friday: Hopper the Cancer Crusher

Hopper the Cancer Crusher is another friend for our oncology patients. Hopper is a froggy friend with a mediport like many patients have. He comes in hospital pajamas and wears a bandanna. Similar to Chemo Duck, Hopper is another great tool for preparation for procedures and general support during a patient’s hospital stay. Visit his website to learn more; Hopper the Cancer Crusher


Fabulous Find Friday: Worry Eaters

worry eater

Today’s Fabulous Find is Worry Eaters! These fun little monsters can eat a child’s worries away. Their mouth unzips so that children can place their worries in a safe place and their friend will eat it up so they don’t have to worry about it anymore. Visit their site to learn more about these little super heros; http://sorgenfresser.com/en/howto/

Fabulous Find Friday: Owl Babies Book

Owl Babies is a great book for helping young children understand separation, especially as a reminder that mommys and daddys come back. Owl Babies by Martin Waddell tells the story of three owl babies in the nest who awaken to find that their mommy is gone. They worry and wonder where she has gone with the youngest one really wanting mommy. When she returns at the end, she is greeted with excitement and joy. It is a great story to help children express their feelings about separation which is common during a child’s hospital stay.

owl babies