Fabulous Find Friday: Child Life Connection

If you are a student, then you are going to love this Fabulous Find! Today’s Fabulous Find is Child Life Connection.

Child Life Connection works to spread awareness about Child Life. Their mission is below.

Child Life Connection brings play, diversion and education into pediatric settings, all in an effort to make being in the hospital less scary for children!

I first learned about this site because I took my Intro to Child Life Course from the founder, Belinda Hammond. I would encourage you to check out their page and also follow Child Life Connection on FB. As students, we should be looking for every educational opportunity possible to learn more about child life. Child Life Connection is a great place to get started.

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Fabulous Find Friday: Playopolis Toys

Today’s Fabulous Find Friday is Playopolis Toys!

If you are already working in the field, you probably already know about Playopolis. If you’re not, great! I’m glad I can share this toy company with you.

If the name sounds familiar, Playopolis makes the ever popular light spinners that are so great at distraction. If you’re not looking to buy toys right now, you might be wondering how this fabulous find can help you. Even if you’re not in the hospital right now, checking out the toys on this site gives you great insight into what kinds of toys are out there. Think about what the toy might be used for and what population you could give it to. Then when you do enter the hospital, you will be somewhat familiar with the toys.

Fabulous Find Friday: Little Patient

A friend recently suggested the Little Patient for Fabulous Find Fridays and I think it is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!

When she told me about the Little Patient, her exact words were “You can get a boy, a girl, or both, and they are dressed in little hospital gowns. Their tummies unzip to reveal many organs that are velcroed into place, so they are easy to take out, play with, and replace.” It was her favorite Christmas gift this year!

As you can probably see from the image above, the Little Patient comes with all the major organs. It would be a great teaching tool for children to learn about what’s inside our bodies. It is a plush toy, so it might be hard to incorporate into Child Life Practice at the hospital. But, the Little Patient would be great to give as a gift to help a child or in a setting that doesn’t have as strict infection control rules.

The Little Patient is available online here

Responding to the Call: Children’s Disaster Services

I am super excited to share with you that this past weekend, I completed my training to become a Child Disaster Services (CDS) volunteer. What does this mean? When the Red Cross responds to a disaster, they typically set up a shelter. When Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) responds, they set up a day care in the shelter to help the children begin the healing process after the trauma of the disaster.

So what does this day care look like? I don’t want to spoil the awesome training for you, but I will say that it is a typical set up. There is an arts and crafts section, a quiet section with books and stuffed toys, a dramatic play area to allow for role play, and cars/trucks/other toys. One crucial difference is that the items are specifically selected to help the children express themselves and hopefully to begin the healing process. In the pile of cars/trucks, there are emergency vehicles similar to the ones that the children might have seen. There is paint so that the children can express what they have seen if they want to. The selected books often have meaning behind their cute titles and adorable characters. If possible, CDS volunteers try to set up water play or rice for sensory play.

Why is this important for children after trauma? Play is the language of children! It’s how they process the world around them and how they communicate to others about their experiences. After a disaster, parents have a lot to think about. They often have to figure out where the family will live, find a way to replace what was lost, fill out paperwork for a variety of organizations that will help….if they fill out the correct form in the right way. Children’s Disaster Services provides the parents with some time to take care of themselves and they provide the children with a safe place to begin to express themselves.

Check out their site to learn more and find a training near you: http://www.brethren.org/cds/

Fabulous Find Friday: Child Life Disaster Relief

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to stumble upon the Child Life Disaster Relief’s website. This group provides Child Life Services to disaster areas. By partnering with Children’s Disaster Services, Child Life Disaster Relief deploys trained relief workers to areas in need. For a Child Life Student, the Child Life Disaster Relief provides some great opportunities. Not only do they offer Child Life related trainings, but they also provide opportunities for research. You can learn more ways to get involved here.

Child Life Disaster Relief is a new and expanding area for research. What area of Child Life would you recommend researchers focus on next?

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Fabulous Find Friday: KidSpeak App

Today’s Fabulous Find is a very well done app from the Tuscon Medical Center for Children. This app is called KidsSpeak : Medical Preps for Kids. This app has photos of most of the rooms that a child might encounter in the hospital and walks them through all the machines and other tools that they might find in the room. It also has a digital whiteboard. This is a really cool feature that allows the child (or Child Life Specialist) to draw on the body parts. What a great way to illustrate a medical condition!

There are so many apps out there, which are your favorite ones for children?

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