- Coloring books
- Construction paper
Make craft kits
Craft kits should be pre-packaged in ziplock bags with all necessary materials, and instructions included (scissors are provided by the hospital). All materials must be new. Craft kits can be made for a wide variety of age groups, depending on the level of difficulty for each project:
- Beads and shoestring/ribbon for making jewelry (large beads for young children)
- Coloring page packets and small crayon packs. Some good web sites to get the pictures: http://www.lil-fingers.com/, http://www.crayola.com/, www.dltk-kids.com/coloring.htm, http://www.familyfun.go.com/
- Craft sticks to make picture frames (include sequins, fabric scraps, glue stick)
- Pre-cut, blank hanging door sign (like hotels use) with crayons or markers for decorating
- Dream catcher hoop with yarn, string, beads
- Friendship bracelets with thread
- Blank greeting cards with markers to decorate
- Plastic needlepoint canvas with design, plastic needle and yarn
- Pipe cleaners or gimp and directions for making animals, flowers, etc.
- Paper bag and materials with instructions to make a puppet
- Stained glass activity: tissue paper scraps, glue and Plexiglas sheet (rounded corners)
- Cardboard sewing card (with holes punched around the edges) and yarn, shoe laces, etc.
- Blank paper doll cutouts with crayons or markers
- Blank paper book with stickers, markers, crayons for children to make their own stories
- Cut-out construction paper shapes (e.g., kites, fish, etc.), or pre-cut seasonal decorations: 3-inch sizes of various shapes can make art projects easier for children. Patients can then paint and decorate shapes or shapes can be used to decorate patient rooms or nursing units.
- School boxes: A school box or a decorated shoe box with crayons, pencils, rulers, glue, scissors, etc.
- Individual craft kits in Ziploc bags with directions and supplies. Examples include:
- Cut-out felt hand puppets or finger puppets with items to decorate
- Friendship bracelets - strands of floss and directions
- Bead necklace - strand of elastic and selection of beads
- Clown face - paper plate, yarn for hair, puff balls for eyes, etc.
- Make-your-own-card - separately packaged for a variety of occasions (e.g., birthday, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Valentine's Day). In each set, include an envelope, a folded piece of paper for the card, designs on paper of different colors to cut and paste to card.
- Holiday activity bags - cut-out shape (construction paper) of holiday item (Christmas tree, pumpkin, Menorah, Kwanza candles, Kinora, Easter egg, etc.) and glue and items to decorate
- Blank sheets of paper with stickers, crayons and items to use as decorations
We always have a use for fun prepackaged craft and activity kits. Suggested kits include Crayola, Imagine Nation, Creativity Kids and Klutz.
Create comfort bags
Small bags containing crayons, coloring book, short reading book, pin wheel, stress ball, pens and pads of paper.
Help patients through tough tests and procedures
When children undergo medical procedures they can help themselves relax and cope positively by blowing bubbles or pinwheels, looking at "I-Spy" and picture books, listening to a calming music CD, or playing with sound and light toys. We strive to make sure these toys are available to any pediatric patient in need.
Support the needs of our teen patients
Our teenage patients enjoy CD players, popular music CDs, journals, magazines, model cars and airplanes, sports paraphernalia, nail polish, and small gift certificates to local stores.
Support the needs of infants
Babies enjoy mobiles, play gyms, high chairs, rattles, teethers, soothing crib toys and sound machines. Due to our infection control and safety guidelines, infant items must be easily cleanable (plastic), and that fabric or plush items are not appropriate for infant use at our Medical Center.
Helping patients stay in touch
Transportation and communication between hospital and home can be very challenging for some of our families. You can help these families by providing phone cards, gasoline gift cards (www.svmcards.net) or donating funds to go towards the purchase of parking vouchers for families who are experiencing a long hospitalization of a child.
New Books and magazines
Any book you choose will be enjoyed by our patients, and the following web sites are a useful resource as you choose books to donate.
- American Library Association
- National Education Association
- Reading is Fundamental - Book List
Magazine subscriptions can be ordered online and designated to go to a particular area of your choice. Please address the subscription as follows:
Child Life Program
UMass Memorial - University Campus
55 Lake Avenue North
Worcester, MA 01655
- Teen Newsweek (www.weeklyreader.com)
- Zoobooks (www.zoobooks.com)
- Nickelodeon Magazine (www.nick.com)
- Disney Adventure (www.disney.com)
- National Geographic Kids (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/)
- U.S. Kids (http://www.cbhi.org/)
Medical play dolls
These handmade* dolls are given to our patients to keep and are used by our staff to help hospitalized children express their feelings and learn about their hospital experience. The poly-filled fabric doll has a blank face and body to encourage children to draw on it and personalize their doll. Guidelines for patterns are available upon request.
Handmade* blankets are comforting for children and help create a more nurturing environment. They should be made of colorfast, machine washable material and measure approximately 40"x32" or larger.
*We ask that all handmade cloth items be freshly laundered to meet our infection control guidelines. To ensure the safety of our patients, handmade items should not have small removable pieces that are easily pulled off. Thank you for helping to ensure a safe environment for the children we serve.
Cosmetics and other items
Items include Chapstick, travel toothpaste, shampoo, brushes, toothbrushes, gas cards, new blankets, floss, shaving cream, lotion, deodorant, body wash, Life Savers, Tic Tacs.