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Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) Launch Power of Play Campaign

As people across the country are getting to grips with how to live in this new, temporary ‘normal’, caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, GOSH Charity has launched a range of free, expert resources, tips and activity ideas to help all children cope with the challenges they may face as a result.

The charity has just released some brand new activities, including Make your own flower people, where children can create flowery friends inspired by nature, and No paintbrush, No problem, which encourages creativity and freedom with painting!

Create Flowery Friends

What to do

When you go on a walk or play in the garden, pick a selection of natural items including different shaped and coloured leaves, grass, flowers (if you’re allowed!), sticks, and pine cones – whatever you come across!

At home, take a sheet of paper and draw a simple face outline. Use glue to stick the items you’ve collected to the paper, using different pieces to make the arms, legs, and body. You can create a different flower friend every time you play!

“By using nature in your crafting, you can create some really creative new characters and let your child’s imagination run free!”

No Paintbrush, No Problem

What to do

Get an old white sheet, duvet, pillowcase, or old wallpaper and hang it up inside or outside, protecting the floor with newspaper.

Get some brightly coloured paints and use a sponge, spoon, twig or your hand to flick, splatter, or splash paint onto the sheet, creating an original piece of artwork. You can of course use a paintbrush too if you want!

“Children will enjoy the freedom of expressing themselves using different colours and painting techniques. If getting messy isn’t their thing, they could wear some gloves, or create smaller pictures. We use this activity a lot at GOSH with syringes to encourage our patients to be creative and expressive, giving them the space to let out tricky feelings.”

Laura Walsh, Head of Therapeutic Play Services at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Play is a fundamental part of childhood and is essential to children’s wellbeing, growth, and emotional development. For those in hospital, play helps make sense of what’s happening and helps prepare them for procedures and treatments, as well as making space for some much-needed joy. During these potentially overwhelming times, play can also offer children across the UK a sense of normality, act as a safe distraction, and can fire up the imagination, and support communication. We want to help as many families as we can get through this, which is why we are offering free ideas, tips, and advice that parents can trust, to help their children deal with the uncertainties of today.”

Visit gosh.org/powerofplay to find games, tips, and resources to help families through this uncertain time.