Skip to main content

Table 1 Examples of the Hospital Play Interventions

From: Play interventions to reduce anxiety and negative emotions in hospitalized children

Type of Play Objectives Activities
Preparation Play • To increase children’s understanding of medical procedures
• To give children a sense of control over threatening events and help to clarify their misconceptions
Go through every step of a medical procedure using different instruments, such as tailor-made pretend medical dolls, procedural orientation books, real medical equipment, and miniature medical equipment
Medical Play • To facilitate children’s expression of their concerns and feelings related to hospitalization
• To familiarize children with the hospital environment and routine medical procedures
• To facilitate children’s expression of their feelings and emotions related to hospitalization
•Provide various real and/or toy medical equipment (e.g. stethoscope, syringe without needles, bandages, medical cup, gloves, mask, nurse’s cap, dressing pack, etc.) during children’s hospitalization
• Get children involved in different kinds of expressive play activities (e.g. painting, singing, dancing, journaling, sand play, puppets, etc.), and encourage them to share or express their feelings
Distraction Play • To reduce the anxiety of children undergoing medical procedures Provide interesting games and toys (e.g. blowing bubbles, pop-up books, puppets, computer games, music, video, sensory toys, relaxation techniques, etc.) to distract children’s attention from medical procedures
Developmental Play • To promote optimum psychosocial development and prevent regression among hospitalized children Involve children in appropriate play activities (e.g. toys, board games, story books, arts and crafts play, etc.) according to their ages and abilities
  1. * Photos adopted with permission from Playright – Taken from Hospital Play Service pamphlet