DIY Medical Play: Butterfly Needle

Medical preparation is a big part of a child life specialist’s job, but what happens if you don’t have the exact tools needed?

You make it using loose parts!

Working in private practice, I don’t have access to the nurses’ closet, so I had to be creative in making a butterfly needle this week.


Here is what I found around my house, blue painter’s tape, cardboard box, medicine cup, lanyard, plastic fork, bead and the plastic insert for a screw.

DIY Butterfly Needle

With the help of scissors and a hot glue gun, I came up with this:

DIY Butterfly Needle 2Not bad, right?

Remember that using loose parts with a child is also a great way for them to deepen their learning process of diagnosis, treatment or test. Provide them with materials and let them figure out a way to create it.

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3 thoughts on “DIY Medical Play: Butterfly Needle

  • Awesome, Shani! Just the thing for preparing children for sedation-free MRI with contrast – we use a butterfly needle for the contrast injection. I look forward to sharing your post with the Bank Street child life grad students at my hospital in September. Also, props for clever use of the plastic insert for drywall screws – extras of those are always rattling around in the junk drawer at home and now I know what to do with them. :)Jono