6 month old Amelia show’s off her her beautiful Christmas footprint tree decoration with Play Specialist Emma in CHI at Crumlin.

CHI Play Departments pull out all the stops to bring Christmas cheer to patients

Patients across Children’s Health Ireland enjoyed a very special week of festivity and games from 13th-17th December, with CHI Play Specialists and Play Assistants pulling out all the stops for ‘Christmas Cheer Week’. The CHI Play Departments in Tallaght, Crumlin, Temple Street and Connolly led a variety of activities that enabled patients and families to capture precious memories in the run-up to Christmas.


11 year old Cian was delighted to show off his masterpiece with Play Specialist Caitriona in CHI at Crumlin.

The week included activities such as ornament decorating, holiday card making, Christmas cookie decorating, colouring competitions, Santa visits and treat deliveries.


The Play team in CHI at Temple Street is delighted to spread Christmas Cheer with CHI patients.

Emma Fratangelo, Senior Play Specialist in CHI at Crumlin, explained how important the week has been for CHI patients, especially as play has changed over the last couple of years. “As Christmas celebrations continue to look different, we’ve had to get very creative in order to connect in the same way we would have previously with children. This week was about ensuring all our patients across our hospitals could take part in some Christmas Cheer and feel part of the celebrations.”

Play Departments across CHI supervise play facilities to assist in the creation of a welcoming, caring and safe family-centred environment, appropriate to the needs of the patients and their families. The team comprises Play Specialists and Play Assistants who provide specialised play and work as members of multi-disciplinary teams specialising in specific medical and surgical conditions. Play Specialists also prepare children for medical and surgical procedures while in hospital, distract them during procedures and follow up with post-procedural play.

Caroline Flynn, Senior Play Specialist in CHI at Temple Street, spoke about the role of the Play Specialist in paediatric care. “Children are particularly vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. Being in hospital can be a source of anxiety and fear, especially if children are unexpectedly separated from their family. Along with having to cope with illness, this difficult experience can affect their normal growth and development. Play Specialists are in touch with patients throughout their stay in the hospital and the relationships we build are very special. It was an absolute joy to see the smiles and excitement this week, the children loved every minute of it.”

A special mention and thanks to Children’s Health Foundation and supporters for their continuous and generous support of CHI Play Departments.