Fabulous Find Fridays: When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness

It’s hard to find books for kids about illness, even harder to find age appropriate journals. When Someone Has a Very Serious Illness by Marge Heegard is a great journal for school age kids to use when they are processing and working on coping with a loved one’s diagnosis. It gives enough direction that you don’t need to be a therapist or a Child Life Specialist to guide a child in their journey through this book, but the book can be a great partner for Child Life Specialists during their support sessions for children. The books pages are filled with open spaces where a child is encouraged to express their feelings and thoughts about a special someone’s serious illness.

 

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Fabulous Find Friday: Child Life Secrets Exam Study Guide

Earlier this week I took the Certification Exam and this book was by far the most helpful resource that I used to study. What’s great about this study guide is that it covers a wide variety of material ranging from ethics and professional practice to play and child development. The other thing that’s nice about this book is that not only is there a practice test with answers, but there are paragraph length explanations for why each answer is right/wrong. After reading the books on the Association’s assigned list, this is a great study guide to use in the month before you take the exam. I highly recommend it!

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.

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! 😉

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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 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

hopper

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: Monkey in My Chair

When kids are in the hospital, they are forced to miss many days of school, sometimes even months. Although kids tend to complain about going to school, it is a part of their normal routine. When children are hospitalized, school is an important part of the normalization process. Doing weekly assignments, the children can maintain a schedule similar to their classmates and the homework also serves as a conversation starter for medical staff.

Although hospital teachers do a great job of bringing school into the hospital, they can’t bring the classroom experience and often that is what children miss the most. While their classmates are having fun together at recess or going on field trips, the patient is stuck in a hospital room. This is where Monkey in My Chair comes in. Monkey in My Chair is a program that sends a monkey to the child’s school to sit in their chair. This monkey serves to remind the members of the class that although their classmate is sick and missing school, they are still a part of the class. Teachers take pictures of what the monkey is up to at school and send them to the patient so that the patient can feel included in the class’s activities.

Visit this link to learn more about Monkey in My Chair; http://www.monkeyinmychair.org/program

Fabulous Find Friday: Got Transition

In one of my classes this past summer, we talked about transitioning pediatric patients to adult care facilities. This transition requires the involvement of the pediatric care team, the adult care team and also the family. Got Transition offers a variety of resources to both health care professionals and also the youth and their families.

As Child Life Specialists, we are trained to assess developmental levels and provide developmentally appropriate education and support. This means that we are well equipped to support families during their transition to adult care. I encourage you all to explore Got Transition to learn more about the transition and resources and support that you can offer these families.

Fabulous Find Friday: Playmakers

For those of you in the New England area, I’m sure you know of the Life is Good clothing company. For those of you that have not heard of Life is Good, they are a clothing company that is focused on sharing optimism and giving back to the community. One of the ways that they give back is through their Playmaker Initiative.

Child Life Specialists are Playmakers! Life is Good defines a playmaker as “someone who provides the power of optimism to children who desperately need it.” Check out their site to learn more about becoming a playmaker; http://content.lifeisgood.com/kidsfoundation/what-we-do/become-a-playmaker/