GIVEAWAY!!! V.I.P. Hospital Productions


Happy child life month! Let’s celebrate by giving away 5 V.I.P. Hospital Productions books to 5 lucky winners!

I am excited to introduce you to Hannah Doty, the founder of V.I.P. Hospital Productions

V.I.P Hospital Productions is an organization that designs specialty activity books and movies to help kids and teens interact with their medical team—and have FUN doing it!

As a child diagnosed with cancer, I spent a lot of time in the hospital. I used my interest in creative activities to occupy my time and began to ask medical team members to look at my drawings, sign my scrapbook and take pictures with me. I discovered when I initiated these fun interactions, I felt more in control of my situation and was less anxious about meeting new doctors and nurses.

In 2014, I founded V.I.P. Hospital Productions to help other kids and their medical teams interact easily. I designed these specialized activity books based on the type of resource I wish I would have had as a patient.

I believe as kids and teens feel empowered to ask questions and connect in a fun way with the medical personnel around them, the trust that is built helps them honestly communicate their health needs, go through treatment/procedures with less anxiety, and leads to an improved hospital experience for patients, family and caregivers alike.

These specialized activity books are available for individual purchase on our website, Child Life professionals and other medical personnel should email us to receive quantity discounts or ask about piloting the books in their facilities. Information about our movies can also be found on our webpage. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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We will be giving away 5 Star Treatment Books to 5 lucky winners.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

1. Sign up for email notifications at Child Life Mommy and leave a comment below

2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and leave a comment on the post

3. Facebook: Follow VIP Hospital Productions and leave a comment about the giveaway

4. Twitter: Follow, Like and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy and @VIPHospitalProd

5. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy, Like and tag a friend in the post

Good Luck! Winner will be chosen 3/7/18, shipped to U.S. residents only.

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Quick Tips for Improving Your Child’s Creativity

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Guest Blogger, Annabelle Short

Fostering creativity in your child is very important to their future. While they are young, their minds are very impressionable and susceptible to the things going on around them. With many bad influences surrounding them, it is important to foster good and creative ideas that will prepare them to be successful in the future.

While they might not grow up to be the next Vincent van Gogh, creativity is still beneficial. It exposes their mind to a different way of thinking and opens new pathways, allowing them to really discover their interests and to grow and learn new things.

Here are some great tips for improving your child’s creativity:

  • Discuss creativity with your child. Your child will have an easier time letting themselves be creative, if they know exactly what it is that you are trying to get them to do. Let them know that it is fun to draw, paint and try new things. You are fostering creativity by making them aware of it.
  • Design a place for them to be creative. By giving them the atmosphere to be creative, they are more likely to take advantage of it. Set up an arts and crafts station. Put out pens, pencils, notebooks and stickers. A great way to really interest your child in the area is by adding personalized stickers! You can order stickers that are specific to things that your child is interested in. This will be sure to catch their attention and make them feel special. You could do something as simple as put their name on them, to something more special that they enjoy. They can use these stickers in their next creative project!
  • Avoid micromanaging. Let them be. Leave your child alone to be creative. While it is important to still keep an eye on them, don’t hover. They cannot be creative if you are standing right over them guiding them in what to do. Allow them the time and the space to develop and foster their own ideas.
  • Avoid only coloring books. Instead or pre-printed designs and books, try just giving them some white paper. This gives them a blank canvas to create something totally their own. This will avoid them just following the rules and allow them to think of something totally outside of the box.
  • Let them get messy. This might be the hardest part, but it goes right along with avoid micromanaging. Sometimes, they need to get messy in order to truly foster their creative ideas. Obviously, don’t just ignore it totally and let them get unruly or destroy the house, but sometimes a little paint on their hands and in their hair, is okay. They are learning.
  • Be creative yourself. Kids do learn by watching. If they see that you are being creative and trying new things, they will often want to do so themselves. This is also a great opportunity for you to encourage it. You could even say something as simple as, “See, mommy is being creative and making a new project. Why don’t you try?” This also goes hand-in-hand with discussing creativity, but this is the leading by example part of that.

6 TED Talks That Reinforce the Importance of Play

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Guest Blogger, Jennifer Cantis

Studies have shown how vital playfulness is to creativity, relaxation, and peace of mind.

Play is critical for a stable, more productive life experience.

Don’t believe me? Take some time to watch the following six TED Talks. Each will inspire you in different ways to get in touch with your inner-child spirit in order to tackle your adult problems. Whether its playful thinking or playful activities, the next time you’re stuck on a problem, try working through it by use of play!

Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play

In Tim’s speech, he opens with an exercise where he has the audience draw a person in a seat next to them. The catch is that you only have thirty seconds to complete the drawings. As you can imagine, the exercise gets quite a few laughs from the audience. However, something else happens, too: Many people can be heard apologizing to the subject of their thirty-second artwork. “Sorry,” they say, often with a giggle. This is when Tim makes his first point.

“We fear the judgment of our peers,” Tim explains. “This fear is what causes us to be conservative in our thinking. So, we might have a wild idea, but we are afraid to share it with anybody else.” However, Tim points out that this fear does not hamper the creativity of children. Kids will proudly show off their scribbles to anyone willing to look. Unfortunately, as we go from childhood to adolescence and beyond, we become significantly more sensitive to the opinions of others.

Also, studies show that children who feel most secure tend to feel most free about their ability to be creative. Thus, isn’t it logical that employers strive to create this same sense of security in the workplace? Shouldn’t we work to promote environments that boost creativity to inspire our employees to produce innovative ideas?

As Tim points out, many of the most successful companies have appreciated and implemented this idea. These companies want their employees to think outside of the box. They want to empower them to take risks. For example, Google’s offices often look like a mix between the ultimate recess playground and an awesomely interesting museum! They want to encourage creativity in employees through play and environmental stimulation.

Another point Tim makes is the way adults try to categorize every item they come across. Adults tend to ask what an item is, “but kids are more engaged with open possibilities.” As Tim explains, “They will certainly ask ‘What is it?’, but they will also ask ‘What can I do with it?’” It is this question—What can I do with it?—that unlocks the creative possibilities. It is this question that we, as adults, do not ask enough!

Jay Silver: Change the World

Jay’s take on play also leans heavily toward creativity and innovation. In his speech, he largely focuses on the ability to turn everyday items into mind-blowing products and pieces of technology.

He explains that, as a kid, he realized a fact that would forever change his life. “I thought, okay, the way the world works can be changed. And it can be changed by me in these small ways!” He began taking man-made items that were designed for a specific purpose and began creating innovative ways the items could be used.

Later in life, Jay was inspired to start a maker movement. He gathered together a group of teens and encouraged them to go into the woods to see what they could create from the natural world around them. Very quickly, the kids began crafting cool pieces of art!


Erin McKean: Go Ahead, Make Up New Words!

Erin is a lexicographer, which means it is her job to add words to the dictionary. Erin explains, “My job is not to decide what a word is; that is your job. Everybody who speaks English decides, together, what’s a word and what’s not a word. Every language is just a group of people who decide to understand each other.”

During the talk, Erin explains that some people can get very uppity when society wants to create a new word. These people moan and groan, protesting about grammar issues and how a particular word makes no sense. However, this argument is false. As Erin points out, all words were made up by someone at some point in history. In her opinion, a world with more words is a greater place to live.

“Every word is a chance to express your idea and get your meaning across, and new words grab people’s attention. They get people to focus on what you’re saying and that gives you a better chance to get your meaning across.”

Feeling imaginative? Erin walks you through the six different types of words so you can create your own!

Arvind Gupta: Turning Trash into Toys for Learning

In his talk, Arvind promotes an eco-friendly form of play. He explains that earlier in his life he was living in a small village where they had a weekly bazaar. One week when he went, he bought several small items—mostly trinkets—that many would consider junk. One item he purchased was a cycle valve tube, which is essentially a thin rubber tube.

Quickly, he realized how simple it would be to cut small pieces of the tube off and attach matchsticks to the inside of the tube. The rubber’s flexibility would allow the tube to bend around the matchstick. With three matchsticks inside the tube, you could create a triangle, four a square, and so on.

Gupta takes his form of recycle play even further by using discarded items like CDs, magnets, batteries, and paperclips to make engines and turbines. He even does some amazing things with paper!

As Gupta explains, what you can build and do with everyday discarded items “is just limited by your own imagination.”


Steve Keil: A Manifesto for Play, for Bulgaria and Beyond

Concerned about the future well-being of Bulgaria, Steve pushes play as the way to create a greater future for his home country.

In his opinion, Bulgaria is too serious for its own good. Steve believes this is stifling creativity and innovation in his country. He uses multiple studies to show how play can improve the world, including Bulgaria.

Steve encourages a playful atmosphere in the workplace where you treat workers with trust and respect. “Play improves our work,” he explains. “It stimulates creativity. It increases openness to change. It improves our ability to learn. It provides a sense of purpose and mastery.” By introducing play to the workplace, productivity improves.

Charlie Todd: The Shared Experience of Absurdity

Charlie loves to shake things up. He started Improv Everywhere when he moved to New York City. He and his friends pull creative stunts in public places, all for the joy of bringing strangers together for a shared experience.

“One of the points of Improv Everywhere is to cause a scene in a public place that is a positive experience for other people. It’s a prank, but it’s a prank that gives people a great story to tell.”

Final Thoughts

These podcasters recognize play is just as important for adults as it is for kids. “We don’t lose the need for novelty and pleasure as we grow up,” according to Scott G. Eberle, Ph.D., vice president for play studies at The Strong and editor of the American Journal of Play. Play is critical for creativity, problem-solving, and relationships.