Tanners Totes is dedicated to providing cheer to preteen and teen patients undergoing long-term hospital treatments and stays. A Tanner’s Tote is unique in that it presents the patient with a wide variety of new, non-food, items to bring some greatly needed distractions and joy.
This is another organization that I hold near and dear to my heart. The resources they provide are perfect for preteens/teens that are experiencing long hospital stays. We all know how hard it is to have games/toys/activities/resources for teens so these big tote bags are a Godsend! They include various items such as a dry erase board, uno, water bottle, sketch book, markers, colored pencils, etc. My favorite item in the bag has to be the Staples “Easy Button”. My kiddo’s always get a kick out of that one and it truly makes a positive impact during their recovery. These totes are TOTES amazing!
Being that March is Child Life Month (YAY!) I am going to share with you 3 of my favorite finds throughout the week. Today is all about Pabs Packs!
“PAB” is for Pia and Abbie; that’s us. We are lifelong friends. One of the things we share is knowing what it’s like to be in the hospital feeling lousy and scared. Abbie was diagnosed at age 13 in 2013 with Type 1 diabetes. Pia received her diagnosis in 2014 at the age of 14: Stage 2A Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Thanks to the wonderful care we received at Children’s Hospitals Pia is cancer free and Abbie has her diabetes under control. With a lot of help from our families, we started PAB’S PACKS in 2014 because we wanted to help kids who are going through long days in the hospital.
I split my days between NICU and our surgery/orthopedics unit. The surgery/orthopedic unit is where I meet patients that are about to go into surgery and are in major need of some comfort. Pabs Packs are the perfect compliment to my teachings/preps prior to surgery because they include everything the patient’s need at that time.
A soft blanket
A stress ball
Chapstick and lotion
A very cute and cuddly penguin (which I’ve been able to place IV’s on during medical play to match the patient)
A journal with a pen (which I use to encourage patients to write any questions they may have or journal about their experience)
& a flyer with the inspiring story of Pia and Abbie and their journey with hospitalization
My teens absolutely love their Pabs Packs inside and out (the backpacks themselves are very chic, modern, and unisex)! I’ve seen time and time again what a tremendous positive impact they have on not just the patients, but the family as well.
You’re never too old to color! When working with teens, using coloring sheets with intricate designs might spark their interest more than your common spongebob sheets. Color pencils might also be preferred over crayons for these typs of coloring sheets.
If you’ve had access to an iphone/ipad lately you’ve probably discovered Siri and her sometimes, witty, responses to questions you ask her. With many hospitals carrying ipads, playing around with Siri could be a great activity for teens. So, what should you ask so that you don’t just end up with Siri answering “I don’t know what you mean by____”
The following link has 100+ fun things to ask Ms. Siri:
A great way for teens to cope with the effects of hospitalization is to write! Writing is a great way to express yourself and let your mind wander by getting your thoughts, fears, and ideas down on paper. However, even the most creative writer can get writers block when staring at a blank sheet of paper – the following links has some awesome guided journaling sheets that can be printed out & used with teens of all ages.
“The Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) is part of Ward 15. It’s called the Teenage Cancer Trust because the building, which was opened by Roger Daltrey of rock band The Who in 2010, was paid for by the charity of the same name.”