Parents are concerned about child growth and development because itis their role as parenting. When children are in the early and middlechildhood stage of development, they tend to be playful and theirparents are pleased to see their children engage in outdooractivities. Being admitted in a children’s ward does not imply thatif they have the strength and energy to play, they should not beallowed to engage in playful activities. Most hospitals haveconstructed a play center for children who are admitted in thehospital (Sinclair, 2013). The paper shall begin by identifying theplay equipment, toy and furniture that shall be needed in the playcentre, its use and placement. It shall then discuss theimplications of the possible solutions for the constructed playcentre and then conclude by providing a personal opinion on how bestto manage the play centre.

Play equipment and toys

Children who are aged between 3-10 years old like socializing andprefer engaging in various activities with their fellow children. Thechildren in this age group enjoy new information and they are eagerto learn how something works (Horiuchi, et al., 2014). Theyalso like creating a challenging situation when playing so that theycan find ways to overcome the difficulty. Some of the play equipmentthat would be suitable for them includes puppets. Puppets would behelpful in enhancing the cognitive development of the child byencouraging creativity. They can use the puppets to generate storiesand scenarios and find solutions to problems. The ideas the childdevelops can be acted out using the puppets thus encouraging theirlevel of imagination and thinking. Puppets also promote socialdevelopment among children. The child talks to the puppet thusenhancing the pronunciation of words and sentence structures (Gokhale&amp Gormley, 2015). When other children are present, one can childcan pose a question to the puppet and another child answers thequestion posing as a puppet. Such games not only enhance theirconversation skills but also boost their confidence level becausethey learn how to speak out in the presence of others. There is alsoemotional development because the child must learn to take turns withthe other children, have patience and share whatever little spacethey may have. Puppets are also essential because they enhancephysical development among children. As the child play, his finemotor skills shall be enhanced, as he/she shall be trying to move thehead, arms, body and legs of the puppet. The child shall need toco-ordinate eye movement with the body movement of the puppet.

Puppet shall facilitate the socio-emotional bonds of children withtheir families because it teaches them how to relate their feelingswith those of others. Puppets also teach them how to share space.Therefore, in a family situation, since the family members are livingin the same house, the child learns how to share space with the otherfamily member (Lambert, et al., 2014). Puppets also teachchildren to be patient thus enhancing relationship among siblings.Puppets can improve coping and adjusting to long-term care by guidingthe child to learn the appropriate behaviors in society. It alsocaptures the attention of the child especially if the puppetrepresents a personality who is familiar with the children. Childrencan be asked to make their own puppets from socks to reflect peopleor animals. Children can be playing with puppets during the playtimeallocated by the hospital.

Bicycles are also play equipment that can be included in the playcentre. The hospital can invest in different sizes of bicyclesbecause of the difference in physical development among children agedbetween 3-10 years. Children who are three years old are learning howto ride a bicycle for the first time hence their bikes need to havecoaster brakes. Besides, the bikes for the children in this agebracket vary depending on the height of the children (Bines &ampJamieson, 2013). Bicycles contribute to the physical development of achild in terms of development of motor skills. The child has tocoordinate various body parts such as legs and arms while riding thebicycle. Bicycles also enhance the cognitive skills of childrenbecause they have to reason on the direction they are to take, whento hold brakes and understand the rules of riding and the road signs.The hospital can put up road signs such as stop sign, zebra crossingamong other road signs to help the children learn and understand thevisual signs. Bicycles also help in social development becausechildren make friends when riding. They get to share their ridingexperiences and ride the bicycles together enabling them to developtrust for other people. When being taught how to ride bicycles byadults they are usually authoritative because they want to ensurethat the children understand the rules associated with riding(Landrigan &amp Etzel, 2013). Bicycles also help in emotionaldevelopment of children because once they manage to ride a bicyclewithout falling or incurring any injury, they get a feeling ofsatisfaction and emotional rewards.

Bicycles facilitate emotional bonds of children with their familiesin different ways. The parents get to teach their child how to rideand when they learn how to ride on their own, parents are proud oftheir children accomplishments. Siblings can engage in communalactivities such as bicycle racing which strengthens their bond asfamilies. Bicycles improve how children cope and adjust to long-termcare by fostering brain development. Bicycles require children tomake various decisions thus enhancing their reasoning ability andboosting their brain development. Bicycles are an outdoor activityand it induces long-term care by enabling the child to engage inoutdoor activities that enable him/her to socialize with friends. Theactivity schedule for riding bicycles can be in the mid morning or inthe afternoon. Nurses have to be present to supervise the children asthey ride and ensure they put on the helmets.

The hospital can also incorporate puzzles of different sizes in theplay centre. Children puzzles are mind games that play a huge role inthe development of a child. The difference in size of the puzzles isbecause the elder children’s brains are more developed and have abetter reasoning capacity. Puzzles play a crucial role in physicaldevelopment by improving hand-eye coordination when picking thepuzzles and placing them in their required area as per the brainenvisions. They also enhance both the fine and gross motor skills. Asa child tries to reach to the larger pieces of the puzzle and stackthem together enhances their gross motor skills. Fine motor skillsare enhanced as the child moves their fingers to ensure that thepuzzle fits to their exact spot (Caçola, et al., 2015).

Puzzles are also important because they enhance cognitive developmentamong children. The pieces of the puzzle are of different shape andby participating in the game, a child get to recognize shapes ofobjects such as triangle, circles and rectangles. As they get older,they understand more shapes that are complex by participating in theadvanced puzzle games (Johnston, et al., 2013). Puzzles alsoenhance the memory capacity of children because the game requires thechild to remember where a certain piece of the puzzle shall fit laterin the game. The game also enables a child to implement theircritical skills because only one piece can fit at a certain point inthe puzzle. Puzzles also help in the emotional development of a childbecause it helps children to set goals that they hope to achieve oncethey finish playing the puzzle. Besides, the puzzle teaches childrento be patient and slowly think about their next step towards the endof the puzzle. Puzzles also enhance social development among childrenbecause when playing the game together, the children have to reasontogether and agree on where to place a puzzle piece. Puzzles enhanceunderstanding among the children and helps them to create stablerelationships that are based on trust and understanding.

The puzzle games facilitate the socio-emotional bonds of childrenwith their families by enabling the children to learn how to interactwith their environment. There are changes that occur in the familythat at times are unpredictable. For instance, a parent may die ortransfer from their work location and the family is forced torelocate. The family changes may be not easy for a child tounderstand but through playing puzzles, a child easily understandsand adjusts their lives to fit in the new environment they findthemselves (Kostelnik, 2012). Puzzles help to improve how thechildren cope and adjust to long-term care by helping them to developattention to what is around them. It also increases theirconcentration that helps them to remember and recognize certainthings. Puzzle games are an indoor activity and the children can beallowed to play the puzzles in the midmorning, afternoon or in theevening.

Implication of possible solutionsfor the project

Developing a play center for the children in a long-term carefacility implies that the children are being provided with anopportunity to develop their abilities. When children suffer fromchronic diseases that require long-term care, most parents areworried that their babies shall not be able to lead normal lives asthose of other children. However, since their children participate ingames and outdoor activities gives them hope that their childrenshall recover from whatever illness they are suffering. Anotherimplication of the play centre is that it enables children to enjoytheir childhood and lead a quality life (Wilson, 2015). Playing helpsthe children to understand the people in the hospital and thehospital environment and develop a sense of belonging despitewhatever disease they are suffering from.


In summary, constructing a play centre that allows children between3-10 years to participate in activities that enhance their physical,emotional, cognitive and social development is not an easy process.However, by focusing on the needs of the child, parents and the goalsof the hospital, it becomes easier to determine the ideal play centrefor the children. The play center shall have both indoor and outdoorplay activities. It is recommended for the hospital management toensure that the children are attended to whenever they indulge inplay activities. Besides, if their parents are around, they should beallowed to help the children in their games.


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