St. Louis Children’s Hospital understands the need for children to have normal play experiences while they are staying in the hospital.

To address this need, we offer a variety of opportunities for play and activity:

  • Bedside activities for patients who are unable to participate in supervised play sessions through Child Life Services.

  • Child Life Playroom: All inpatient infants through adolescents are welcome during supervised play sessions.

  • Child Life Teen Lounge: The teen lounge is available for adolescents 12 and older.

  • Sibling Playroom: This playroom is for children ages 2 – 11 who are siblings of children staying in the hospital (inpatients). It is also open to children visiting for outpatient appointments and their siblings.

  • Unit Playrooms: These playrooms are on some inpatient units and have activities available to use in the room as well as some cabinets with activities that can taken back to the patient’s own room to use.

  • Outdoor gardens: Our 7th Floor Garden is designed to encourage activity and running around; our Olson Family Garden on the 8th floor encourages quiet reflection and healing.

Importance of Play at Every Age During Hospitalization

  • Teaches children to self-regulate and promotes relaxation during various health care events

  • Allows children to process their emotions, feelings, and experiences

  • Allows expression of their wants and needs

  • Develops a sense of empowerment and competence

  • Offers caregivers and staff an opportunity to observe patients coping in the context of their health care experience

  • Allows children to engage in and learn about the world around them

Generous donors to the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation help ensure that patients and families have these opportunities for play and reflection.