Patients express themselves in a variety of ways

Photography by Peter Barta and Seth Dixon

The St. Jude Child Life Program hosted activities centered around art, words and play to encourage patients to express themselves.

Canvases featuring the large-lettered words “mad, scared, happy and excited” were filled with patients’ artwork about how those words made them feel. The second activity allowed patients to describe in one word what they are prefaced by “I am.” In addition, some patients performed original songs or other tunes designed to put their feelings to music. The play activity focused on a card game. Each card was inscribed with a question such as “What makes me feel angry?” When the card was played, the cardholder shared his or her feelings with the group. During the activity, a dance area allowed for an alternative form of expression through play.

“It’s so important for the kids to express themselves because being here is so different from their normal environment,” said Child Life specialist Jessica Goddard. “We thought it would be fun to have a variety of activities because children express themselves in many ways.”