Child Life Program: Therapeutic Play

  • Boy playing with blocksChildren use play as a way to express their fears and work out energy and anxiety.
  • Play offers a normal path to continued development and growth for all children.
  • Playing with familiar things helps relieve stress and normalize the hospital environment.
  • Children are also able to make choices and gain a sense of control. Many choices are taken away from a child in the hospital.
  • Play gives the child an opportunity to experience achievement and helps boost their self-esteem.
  • Constructive play provides a healthy outlet, relieves boredom and provides reassurance for parents.


children playing in a Shands playroom with a volunteer

  • Playrooms are open during the day for pediatric patients and families to use
  • All patients and siblings must be supervised by an adult (18 years and older)
  • Volunteers may be available to provide supervision when parents cannot be here

Supervised Activity Groups

  • Please check the activities calendar on each floor for supervised group times
  • Groups are run by a variety of trained volunteers and staff
  • Children that are unable to go to the playroom can get toys and activities for their room