Organizing an Activity for Patients and Families in Our Hospitals

Guidelines for Giving

The types of activities you can provide for patients and families at Children’s are unlimited, and we welcome your creative ideas. These suggestions will help you with your planning. Event ideas include:

  • Planning a theme party or craft party with three to four interactive events or activities
  • Providing a special performance

Planning Tips

  • At least six to eight weeks in advance, call the Volunteer Services department of the location you want to visit to discuss:
      • Your idea
      • Scheduling a date for your activity
      • Event guidelines 
      • If you anticipate media coverage
      • Any questions or concerns you might have
  • Successful performances typically last at least 30 minutes.
  • Arts and crafts/theme parties are usually about one hour and should include at least three activities for participants to choose from. You should expect anywhere from three to 30 children in attendance (some accompanied by adults).
  • Please bring age appropriate activities. We serve patients from birth through 21 years old, so remember to be mindful of older patients that may attend.
  • Large groups can seem overwhelming to our patients, so please limit your group to five people per visit.
  • All guests must be at least 18 years old, out of high school and have current vaccinations. To protect our patients’ health, please ask anyone in your group who is ill (cold, cough, sore throat, etc.) to visit us another time.
  • Allow time for parking, orientation and setup, please plan to arrive 30 minutes prior to the scheduled activity time. Children are very disappointed when an activity is delayed or canceled at the last minute.
  • You will be hosted by a staff member who will accompany your group throughout your visit.
  • Activities must comply with Children’s nondenominational policy, meaning that no religious or political subject matter may be impressed upon patients, families or visitors (including gifts, pamphlets, jewelry, T-shirts and other items distributed or worn by visiting groups).
  • Please confine your interaction to your hospital visit and refrain from giving a patient any personal contact information about yourself or asking any personal information about the patient.
  • Dress comfortably and appropriately for contact with children in a hospital environment (avoid shorts, tank tops, low-cut blouses and sandals). If you wear a costume, please select one a child would find cheerful and not frightening. All costumes must be thoroughly cleaned before your visit.

Please remember that our patients are sick and injured children, and we never know how many will feel well enough to come to a party or attend an event. Don’t be discouraged by a small crowd—even two children make a very appreciative audience!