10 Ways To Celebrate Child Life Month
March is Child Life Month, a month where hospitals around the world have the opportunity to celebrate child life specialists and the Child Life profession through education and raising awareness. This is often done through play, creative activities, learning opportunities, and much more. The sky’s the limit when it comes to ways to celebrate Child Life Month, so get creative and find what best suits your hospital and child life team! Your child life specialists are awesome, and this is their month. Here are some ways you can celebrate them and kickstart your Child Life Month celebrations:
1. Child Life Decorations
Allow your child life team to snag that coveted bulletin board and treat it as a blank canvas. They can then decorate it with child life facts, how child life impacts the hospital, and announce any special events being hosted for Child Life Month. Here are some board examples with witty titles like A Minion Ways to Child Life or popular characters like from Inside Out. Feature child life table tents, coloring pages, and placemats in lounges, waiting rooms, and the cafeteria to get the attention of staff, patients, and families.
2. Self Care Day
Child life specialists are busy and work so hard every day. They also encounter a lot of pain, grief, and loss on a regular basis. Have a self care day for your child life team where they can take opportunities to unwind and decompress. Bring in a massage therapist, put on a yoga class, or have some mindful coloring and therapeutic crafts available for them. Advocate for a team seminar where knowledge and tips can be shared about how they can care for themselves in their specific role.
3. Host an Open Event
Whether it’s an open house, carnival, or Olympics, have the team host a child life event open to patients, families, and hospital staff. They can think of fun activities and games to set up like saline bag cornhole, syringe painting, raffles, crafts, or child life-themed trivia.
4. Teddy Bear Clinic
Host a Teddy Bear Clinic for patients. Guided by the child life team, each child can use their teddy bear to learn about how their body works, perform various procedures on their bear, and explore different healthcare professions. The kids can then keep their teddy bears as a comfort item.
5. Doctor for a Day
Allow patients to dress up and play doctor for one day. They can perform procedures on their child life specialists, nurses, and doctors while learning more about their own treatments. This is a great way to educate kids through dramatic play and medical play and have them be more comfortable with their hospital experience.
6. Highlight Your Child Life Team
Highlight members of your child life team in a blog post or on social media. You can create a Facebook album, post a picture of each member, and have the captions be a few interesting child life-related facts about the person. This will showcase the team to the community and generate awareness of what child life offers to patients and families.
7. Host Donation Drive or Competition
Hold a donation drive for the hospital to collect toys, play-doh, or other useful items throughout the month of March. Better yet, increase the incentive by making it a competition between all the hospital units with the winning unit receiving a prize. This friendly rivalry will increase inter-unit interaction while gathering helpful items for the child life team to use with patients.
8. Music Video
Take a popular song and turn it into a viral music video. Gather the child life team, hospital staff, and patients to take part in the filming. You can even incorporate popular video trends like flash mobs and the mannequin challenge, or simply sing along, dance, and have fun. This music video could also generate a lot of awareness for your hospital.
9. Themed Events
Throw a themed event like a luau or Hollywood red carpet party in honor of child life where people can dress up and participate in related activities. Put on weekly hospital-wide themed dress-up days where staff and patients can dress up as superheroes, animals, or their favorite characters.
Use Child Life Month as a way to give back to the community and help the child life specialists grow closer as a team. Suggest the opportunity to volunteer at local food pantries and donation centers or to fundraise for a cause the team cares about. It could even be as simple as gathering together to bake treats for a local charity or shelter.
Whether your hospital has a one person team or a team of thirty, take advantage of this month to showcase Child Life and the important work they’re doing each day. Even doing just one thing will be a great opportunity to advocate, educate, and have fun!
Not sure what Child Life is? Here’s our blog about what child life specialists do and how they help children.