This post was sponsored by Floating Hospital for Children as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
There is nothing worse than seeing your child scared or in pain and being unable to help them. I recently had some medical tests done and was terrified. I couldn't help thinking how it would feel to be a child in the same situation.
When I was 12, I had to have major surgery at the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. I acted all brave, because I was twelve and almost a teenager and pretended I didn't care about anything (I was way too cool for that!) but inside I was terrified.
I learned 3 things both from that experience and since: hospital stays are boring - distraction is a blessing; the attitude of caregivers (doctors, nurses, parents) can make all the difference in the perspective of the patient; and ice cream can be a food group of its own when you don't feel well.
Floating hospital today is probably unrecognizable from the place I went to...well, let's just say, many years ago. They have animal therapy for the children including visits from dogs and even a miniature horse. Just as play is important in all kids lives, it takes on special meaning for a child being treated for an illness, so Floating Hospital encourages play through their Child Life Services as a way to communicate, learn, relax and have fun. And, most important of all, the staff believe in the "you don't have to be big to be strong" mantra. (Check out the video!)
So as all this was going through my mind, I felt a strong desire to help, in some small way. I wanted a way that we could support these kids as a family. I came up with - hospital care baskets! (Remember my distraction theory?)
There's a variety of options of what you could put in these, like lotion, Chap Stick, a neck pillow, a cuddly stuffed animal, coloring book, crayons, books, craft kits... (If you're making them to donate, be sure to check in with the hospital ahead of time. They often have rules about what they can and cannot accept.) We decided to make one for a little girl.
I challenged Kay to imagine that she was in a hospital. What would she want to play with? What could she do in a bed? We put in an early reader book, a notebook, a hand puppet, blank flip books, and a My Little Pony plush (we're on a big My Little Pony kick here lately!). We added in a nail polish kit (definitely something you can do in a bed!). I also put together a little headband craft kit, too.
I simply added a couple of glittery headbands, a bow and some sequins, and put it in a baggie with a mini tube of glue.
These are way fun to make and I hope we'll be adding many more to this first one. May whomever gets this be cheered up for a least a few minutes as she goes through her basket and discovers the goodies!