Two young girls from different continents communicate across language barriers to decorate a giant box together before shared imaginative play. The box became a plane, a boat, and a car as they bond through their shared experience of retinoblastoma.
Child Life Directed Children’s Program
We are delighted to welcome youngsters to One Retinoblastoma World in Washington D.C. Throughout the meeting, we provided a full program of activities for children diagnosed with retinoblastoma, siblings and children of adult survivors.
The program was led by Certified Child Life Specialist Morgan Livingstone, a dedicated member of the WE C Hope team, in collaboration with colleagues across the USA and Canada. In addition to free play for all ages, a planned program included activities designed to help children understand their experience of eye cancer, their emotional responses, medical procedures and living with a special eye.
This exciting and engaging transformative literacy activity encourages children and teenagers to create a narrative book about all the things that make them an amazing individual. With some guiding statements such as “I am….” and “I can…”, children are able to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences in narrative form, adding their own images through drawing, collaging and scrapbook art materials.
Play is the language of childhood, so we have planned a wonderful playful exploration of common medical materials for children. They can dress up in scrubs and “BE” the doctor, blow bubbles with sedation masks, create syringe splatter paintings, and make bracelets with plastic IV tubing. Medical play allows children a safe and fun way to familiarize themselves with medical materials in a non-threatening way, and gain mastery over their own medical experiences – all while having FUN!
Medical play puppets were pupular with the children.
Sensory play includes activities that stimulate children’s senses through touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. Our fun and interactive sensory activities include making slime / putty, creating our own musical instruments using recycled materials, a blindfolded tasting station to learn about how our taste buds work (sour, sweet, bitter), and amazing body trick activities children can learn and do with friends and family anytime! All these activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore.
All About Feelings
Feelings focused activities give children and young adults a chance to learn about and explore the importance of ALL feelings! Children will make their own Punch Pillow to take home, and take part in a fun game of target practice using mini Marshmallows. Each child can create their own feelings mask using a variety of art materials. They have the opportunity to participate in “kitchen chemistry” while learning about how important it is to share our feelings with someone we trust, and what can happen to our body when we bottle-up upset feelings.
EYE Love Art
A wide variety of art activities that all focus on eyes, including collage posters, papier mâché, photo/video art, and clay creations. Creating eye-themed art pieces gives children a platform to share their concerns about their own eyes in a safe environment, to ask questions, learn about eye care, release anxieties and develop new coping skills.
The children greated eye themed gift bags during an Eye Love Art activity.
Medical Education for teens about their health, genetic questions and relationships.
Child life activities bring huge benefit to children with retinoblastoma, their siblings and children of adult survivors who continue to live with ttreatment late effects and cancer risks. To learn more about the activities we do during child life sessions held alongside family days and medical meetings like One Rb World, read our Photo Blog!