The Playful Project Manual was compiled as part of the Children in Hospital Ireland (CHI) Playful Project, funded by the Early Childhood Ireland National Pyjama Day Fund at The Community Foundation for Ireland.
The aim of the Playful Project is to support volunteers in facilitating play with children aged 0–6 in hospital. We consulted with volunteers, hospital play specialists and staff members in 13 hospitals across the country about what works when facilitating play for young children in hospital and the areas in which volunteers might need more support. Arising from the strategies and needs identified in the consultations, we developed resources, training videos and training opportunities to empower volunteers.
It is our hope that this manual can be a resource to inspire and support all Children in Hospital Ireland volunteers. We are indebted to the great number of people, from both inside and outside Children in Hospital Ireland, who assisted in the development of this resource: we greatly appreciate their contribution.
• Thank you to all the Children in Hospital Ireland volunteers who so thoughtfully shared their ideas
and experiences with me throughout the project
• Special thanks to the volunteers and hospital play specialist in University Hospital Galway for
piloting the sensory play toolkit and providing valuable feedback
• Huge thanks to the hospital play specialists, play room staff and other hospital staff members
consulted over the course of the project for sharing their expertise and advice
• Thanks to all the organisations and individuals who contributed play ideas for this manual
• For advice throughout the Playful Project, special thanks to Sara Bennett, Aideen Brady, Dr Emma
Byrne-MacNamee, Eimear Collins, Katherine Deegan, Fiona Ferris, Helene Hugel, Aoife Kelly,
Margaret McGrath, Dr Meera Oke, Dr Lisha O’Sullivan and Deirdre Rogers
• Thanks to our volunteers Alice, Emma, Eve, Hazel, Jason, Sinead and Sue and to our young stars
Abigail, Andrew, Charlie, Charlotte, Kiera, Malachi, Milo, Ruadhán and Scott for appearing in the new Children in Hospital Ireland training videos that accompany this manual
• Thanks to Margaret Burns, Katherine Deegan, Eimear Kelly and Lisa Porter and to our volunteers
Anne-Marie, Audrey, Caroline and Gemma for reviewing the manual and providing really helpful
• Thanks to Heather McKay from Head in the Clouds for the illustrations used in the manual
• Thanks to Joey Dunne for taking photographs for the manual
• Thanks to Colm Ó Cuanaigh at Practical Printers for the design work
• Thank you to the staff and Board of Children in Hospital Ireland for supporting the project
Playful Project Officer, Children in Hospital Ireland