The Power of Play

8 Sep 2021, 9:30 a.m.

Great Ormond Street Hospital’s expert Play team knows play can help children cope with whatever life throws at them. Now, they've teamed up with GOSH Charity and some much-loved children’s characters, to share expert play tips and resources with parents across the UK.

The value of play

Play has an astounding ability to connect and open up communication with children and young people. When children are feeling unsettled or have an abundance of strong feelings inside them, we can use play to help them identify and express those feelings. We can support them to form strategies to help them feel safer, calmer and empowered to make decisions about how to cope next time they feel that way.

Sian Spencer-Little, Deputy Head of Play at GOSH

Helping children through life’s challenges

Our experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) know first-hand how play helps children feel happier and builds their emotional resilience. Our hospital’s incredible Play team – the largest in Europe – helps ease the worries of hundreds of seriously ill children every day, as they prepare for treatments and go through their recovery.

Findings in the State of Play report – released by Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity) and the GOSH Play team earlier this year – revealed an overwhelming majority of parents (74%) felt play helped their child cope with the pandemic.

Now, teaming up with GOSH Charity and some much-loved children’s characters, our GOSH Play team is sharing expert play tips and resources with all parents across the UK. GOSH Charity's new learning and entertainment hub can help all children through life’s challenges, big or small. It is a free online resource packed with activities, stories, animations, books and advice.

With help from well-known characters – including Horrid Henry, Hey Duggee, Dennis and Gnasher, Peter Pan, Alice, JoJo and GranGran and Peppy Pals – parents can get tips on how play can help children cope with issues such as loneliness, making friends, sadness, handling loss, changing environments, fear of the unknown and coping with illness.

GOSH Charity wants to help all families and children across the UK cope with whatever life throws at them through the power of play.

Host a Play Date for GOSH Charity

Host a Play Date this July and raise money to help fund our amazing Play team. Learn about GOSH Charity's upcoming event below.

Supporting families through difficult times

Last year, Hannah, one of our intensive care nurses, supported a family through an incredibly difficult time in their lives, when their daughter Margot sadly passed away 24 hours after she was born...

Henry: our animated festive hero

This year, 4-year-old Henry and his family will be home for the festive season, having spent Henry's first two at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). As part of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity’s Christmas campaign, enjoy our film.

Gene therapy offers hope to children with rare and fatal brain diseases

Scientists and doctors at UCL GOS ICH and GOSH have given hope of a gene therapy cure to children with a rare degenerative brain disorder called Dopamine Transporter Deficiency Syndrome (DTDS)