A few weekends ago I went out to deck 7 during the patients outside time (all patients who are able are encouraged to go outside from 2:30-3:30pm every day). We have had quite a lot of orthopedic kids recently (the children with bowed legs).
I knew that a lot of them wouldn’t be able to get down on the ground to play with my little cars or blocks that I sometimes bring out, so I brought out my dot paints, along with little boards that the kiddos could put on top of their full leg casts and lean on to play with the dot paints. They were a big hit and fairly soon the kids moved from dot painting the paper to dot paining their full leg casts!
The littles sit in their plastic chairs and rest their feet on another plastic chair and generally can’t do very much in terms of playing, so the nurses do a great job entertaining them! I’ve seen whole rows of nurses standing in front of twelve “ortho” patients singing every song they can think of to keep the kids happy. My favorite was singing “If you’re happy and you know it” with the nurses. The kids don’t understand English, but they can tell what motion they are supposed to do. The best part was the verse “If you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet” because these kids obviously can’t do that, so we changed the words to “wiggle your toes.” I wish everyone had the chance to see these kiddos, each with two full leg casts happy and giggling and wiggling their little toes that poke out of each end of the casts!
Yesterday I brought the kindergartners and first graders (surprise! I have both grades for two weeks and my class has ballooned from 3 to a whopping seven!) out to play with the ortho patients and we had a grand time. My littles passed out boards and papers and dot paints to the little patients and then monitored who needed to switch colors and who needed more paper and such. We were hot and happy! :0)