Planning for Playtime

Planning for playPlayrooms create a sanctuary for kids to relax, play, learn and forget they are in a hospital. The playrooms in Packard Children’s new facilities will create a space where toddlers can crawl and explore freely, patients and siblings can express themselves through play and art activities, and families can relax and connect with each other.

“These are places designed for kids to have a chance to take part in normal activities,” says Colette Case, director of Child and Family Life Services. “We want them to have fun, be entertained, and relieve some of the tension and stress that is associated with being in a hospital.”

The main playroom planned for the second floor is in a centralized and accessible location, with a large deck to extend activities to the outdoors when weather permits. The bright, colorful space will house a full kitchen, with sink, stove and dishwasher, and an open floor plan with moveable furniture to make the room adaptable for all sorts of activities. The playroom will offer events and entertainment, as well as a wide variety of books, toys, and crafts. Children and families can participate in cooking sessions, pet therapy, arts and crafts, and group games. A drop-down screen and projector will make the playroom the go-to spot for movie screenings.

Another playroom on the third floor has been designed especially for infants and toddlers. Soft mats on the floors, mirrors and loads of soft toys will allow little ones to explore and stimulate their senses. Older kids can enjoy the run of the playroom, which includes a play kitchen, blocks, and bookshelves with an adjacent seating area.

The teen playroom on the fourth floor caters to adolescent patients and visitors, where they can hang out, play video games, watch movies, and meet their peers. A small multisensory room using Snoezelen technology has been designed for special needs children to provide an opportunity to play without the potential overstimulation of a regular playroom. The rooms are customized to use lighting effects, color, sounds, and different materials to stimulate various senses.

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