What can we do now?

By: Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Child Life Team.

What can we do now?  I’m bored! Mom…Dad – please entertain me!

Most of you reading this are probably now entering week nine or ten of working from home, being a stay-at-home parent, being a home-school teacher, and most likely trying to balance all of these while keeping your wits about you. At Children’s Health, we stand beside you in this new world of social distancing and know that being away from your friends and family can post unique challenges for all members of your family – adolescents, teens, partners and even pets.  During these tough times though, it is important to provide daily opportunities for your children to play and exercise.

As child life specialists, part of our job is to make sure that the psychosocial needs of patients, siblings parents and even schoolmates, are being met, and that the patient experience is being explained to everyone on an age-appropriate level.  We also utilize play and distraction techniques when working with our patients. This is something you can do in your everyday lives to help the days pass faster for your children until they can once again play with their friends.

Some ideas for keeping your children entertained include:


  1. Read aloud with your child
  2. Engage in sensory play with ice, water and plastic toys in a bin
  3. Put on a puppet show- create your own puppets with lunch sacks or a “lone” sock that has lost its mate
  4. Draw outside with sidewalk chalk
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt around the house or outside finding certain color items.


  1. Make a blanket fort or create an indoor or outdoor obstacle course
  2. Play family board games or host a family karaoke night
  3. Make your own play dough or slime
  4. Create your own Nerf blaster play zone- have your child create targets to utilize during play
  5. Invent your own mini golf course or bowling game


  1. Try new recipes with any items in your fridge or pantry 
  2. Stay connected with your friends on FaceTime or other social media
  3. Practice yoga 
  4. Journal or draw about your current experience 
  5. Learn a new skill (drawing, photography, baking, etc.)

Additional ideas from the Children’s Health website for exercising and preparing healthy meals at home can be found by visiting these links.

We hope that these links can help provide some ideas for activities and exercises that you can put into practice in each of your homes during this time of social distancing.

Thank you,

The Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Child Life Team.

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Did You Know

Building awareness of childhood cancer is critical to funding and finding a cure. To help, please consider sharing teamconnor.org on your Facebook.

Today, 46 children will be diagnosed with cancer.  Seven will lose their battle.

Did you know September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month!

Every day in America, approximately 46 children are diagnosed with cancer.

Childhood cancer does not discriminate, sparing no ethnic group, socio-economic class, or geographic region.

Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in children, accounting for about 3% of childhood cancers.

On average, 1 in every 4 elementary schools has a child with cancer.

About one-third of childhood cancers are leukemias.

Childhood cancer survival rates in the United States have increased from less than 20% in the 1960s to almost 80% today.

Cancer kills more children each year than Asthma, Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, and Pediatric AIDS combined.

Childhood cancer is not one disease entity, but rather a spectrum of different malignancies. Cancers found in children are biologically different from those seen in adults.

1 in 300 children will develop cancer before age 20.

Neuroblastoma is the most common extra cranial solid tumor cancer in children.

Today, up to 75% of the children with cancer can be cured, yet, some forms of childhood cancers have proven so resistant to treatment that, in spite of research, a cure is illusive.

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