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Play in the hospital

This resource is for all parents, carers, children and young adults that visit Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

We recognise that entering a hospital can be a uncomfortable experience and it is common to lose structure in your day and forget your regular routine.

With this resource, we hope to offer some ideas to make your hospital stay a little more pleasant and enjoyable. Inside, you will find exercises, games, and puzzles that you can access on your own or with others.

The activities are varied so feel free to choose whichever you find most enjoyable. You will not need any tools expect from perhaps a pen.

Play ideas to try

Hiding an object or toy on or around your body, or in the room and the other guesses where it is.

A game of thumb wars.

Give each other a hand massage.

Draw with your finger a new face on yourself or the other person.

Try mirroring each other and copy the other’s body movements.

I spy.

Make funny faces and try not to laugh.

Hand stacking where everyone stacks their right hand, and then their left hand, then the lowest hand goes on top. See how fast, high or slow you can go.

20 questions where someone thinks of a person or thing and the other has to guess what it is in 20 questions.

Give them a pizza massage, noticing which touches your child does or does not like:

  • knead and roll out the dough (firmly press alternate hands across your child’s back)
  • spread the sauce (move hands flat across their back)
  • add fun toppings (patting, tapping, cupping hands)
  • sprinkle cheese (using finger tips)
  • put the pizza in the oven (rub hands up and place them on their back)
  • chop the pizza
  • now ready to eat

Play Wordle or kids Wordle.

Write letters to your future selves or a famous person.

Spot things in the room that have something in common, for example red, spikey or shiny.

A memory game where you add something on each turn, following the alphabet, for example “I went to the shop and bought an apple”, the next person would add on their item “I went to the shop and bought an apple, and a banana” and the next person would add “I went to the shop and bought an apple, a banana, and a comic book”.

Copying the beat with clapping games.

Learn new nursery rhymes together or make up your own songs.

Crossword puzzles or word searches.

Practise your handwriting and cursive letters.

Take turns writing a sentence until you come up with your own story.

Play hangman where you choose a word and the other has to guess each letter until they get it right.

Practise hairstyles on each other like braiding.

Charades where you take turns acting out something and the other must guess.

Make your own and play an escape room.

Play 10 seconds of a song and let the other person guess which song it is.

Staring contest.

True or false statements or 2 truths and a lie where the other has to guess which statement is false.

Rock, paper, scissors.

What could we bring in to play with?

  • Equipment to make your own pom poms
  • Puzzles
  • Where’s Wally? (or Where’s Waldo?)
  • Playing cards
  • Uno card game
  • Crafts
  • Colouring pencils and colouring books
  • Face masks and pretend you are in a spa
  • Origami or an origami fortune teller
  • Beanbag or a soft toy
  • Bubbles
  • The game TABOO
  • Sudokus
  • Code breaking games

Please scan this QR code to let us know your thoughts and suggestions:

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: PSY23

Resource Type: Article

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S10 2TH

United Kingdom

Switchboard: 0114 271 7000

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