Child Life

In Child Life we help children understand and cope with hospitalization. Focusing on developmental needs of children, Child Life Specialists provide education, play and emotional support for patients and their families. Child Life Assistants oversee the Child Life Playroom and Educational Learning Center.

Child Life Specialists are available Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 5:30 pm. As part of the medical team, Child Life Specialists collaborate with staff within the Hospital to help meet the needs of the hospitalized child. Some of the services a Child Life Specialist provides are:

  • Illness and hospital education
  • Surgery and procedure preparation
  • Therapeutic and recreation play activities
  • Coordinate special events, entertainment and activities
  • Grief and bereavement support

Services Offered

Child Life Playroom

The Playroom (located on the Garden Level) helps children do what they do best…play! In the Playroom – away from medical tests and procedures – children can enjoy: arts, crafts, music, games, reading, movies and video games. The Playroom also hosts events like Bingo, holiday events, music programs, as well as special guests and celebrity characters. Bedside activities and movies are available to children unable to come to the Playroom.  

Infant, Toddler & Preschool Time

Each weekday morning, youngsters have the Playroom to themselves. Age appropriate activities help children cope with being in the Hospital. Parents are encouraged to interact in this fun and stimulating environment.

Educational Learning Center

A child’s education does not have to stop because a child is hospitalized. School is a routine that kids are used to. It’s one way to provide something normal during a hospital stay.

Children (grades K-12) are encouraged to visit the Educational Learning Center (ELC) while treated at Children’s. The ELC has educational activities, computers and games to help kids continue to learn while in the Hospital. For children who are scheduled to be here for more than 10 days, a Golden Valley School District teacher can be assigned to provide grade appropriate instruction.   

Teen Time

Child Life recognizes that hospitalized teenagers have unique needs, issues and concerns.  “Teens Only” time is set aside weekdays in the Educational Learning Center; teens can interact with their peers and participate in fun activities just for older kids.

Preparing Your Child for Surgery

Learn more about how to prepare your child for surgery by visiting our Surgical Services page, or by calling (559) 353-5383 Monday through Friday from 7 am - 3 pm.

Wish List

The Child Life Department at Valley Children's appreciates donations of items for our patients to use during class time and play time. This Valley Children's Hospital Patient Wish List will help you as you consider making a much appreciated gift to our program. 


Child Life
(559) 353-5444