Play Department

Play Department
Caroline Flynn,
Senior Play Specialist
Temple Street Children’s University Hospital
Temple Street
Dublin 1
Tel: (01) 878 4455
Email:  ei.h1521469281uc@nn1521469281ylf.e1521469281nilor1521469281ac1521469281Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm


The Play Department supervises play facilities in the playroom and multi-sensory room and garden. Our aim is to assist in the creation of a welcoming, caring and safe family centred environment by providing play facilities appropriate to the needs of the patients and their families. The team comprises of play specialists whom provide specialised play and work as members of multi-disciplinary teams specialising in specific medical and surgical conditions. Play Specialists prepare children for medical and surgical procedures while in hospital, distract them during procedures and follow up with post-procedural play.

The Department is staffed by qualified Play Specialists who are assisted by:

  • CHI Volunteers (fully vetted)
  • Early childhood Education Students

Our Playroom

We have a large central playroom for all. The playroom is staff by a qualified Play Specialist. There is a wide range of activities and games to suit the needs of all children who attend. Our aim is to provide a relaxing but stimulating environment were play can occur naturally; also it is a distraction away from the ward environment.

Playroom open times

Monday 10.00-12.15 and 1.30 – 4.00

Tuesday to Friday

9.30 – 12.15 and 1.30 – 4.00


Multi –Sensory Room

Our Multi-Sensory Room is an unique environment within the Hospital. It facilitates relaxation and escapism for children and young people through the specialised equipment.

The room can be used with individual children or small groups.

Each Session is individualised according to the specific needs of the child or young person.

Session by appointment only

Small Sensory Garden

A small interactive sensory garden offers solitude, privacy and an opportunity for the children to explore and communicate with the natural world. 

Peata – Pet Therapy
Peata is an organisation that brings pets in to caring institutions. We have two dogs that visit on alternative weeks, with their owner. The initiative provides children in the hospital with many benefits and creates a sense of pleasure and fun. The visit is an event, for long term patients to look forward to and also be a pleasurable experience for all inpatients.

Pre-Admission Club

The aim of the Pre-admission Club is to give children a basic understanding of the Hospital and prepare them for their planned admission for surgery. The club is a fun and informative session for both children and their parents/families. Ben and Tara our hospital mascots invite children aged between 2-10 years to the club.  The club is held once a month of a Saturday on the Day Ward for approximately 1 hour. There are 2 sessions 9.30 and 10.15. Benefits of attending the Admission Club for Children are:

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Improves knowledge understanding of surgery and hospital
  • Improves co-operation during procedures

Who is involved?

Play Specialist, Staff Nurse, Theatre Nurse Manager & Healthcare Assistant. The Play Specialist talks briefly about the child hospital admission. Ben and Tara are used as visual aids. Hospital equipment is shown stethoscope, blood pressure machine, thermometer, weighing scales, name tag etc. The Staff Nurse takes the children’s temperature and blood pressure. They also answers question or concerns about the children’s admission. Theatre Nurse Manager gives a brief talk on theatre and shows them the theatre equipment. Answers question or concerns about the child’s surgery.

What happens on the day?

  • Children and families arrive on Day Ward and are greeted by staff.
  • Staff, Tara and Ben are introduced and outline of session is given.
  • A Brief talk during which children are shown hospital equipment
  • Children watch a DVD called “Ben & Tara’s Hospital visit”
  • Children have their blood pressure, temperature  taken
  • Children and their families visit theatre and the playroom
  • Each child receives a certificate and our storybook “Ben and Tara hospital visit” to take home

Staff will answers question or concerns about the parents or children may have about their admission to hospital and planned surgery.

One of our Theatre Nurse Managers gives a brief talk on theatre and shows a range of theatre equipment your child may see when they visit.

Referral Process

All inpatients are welcome in the playroom during opening hours. Referrals for specialised play to can be made to one of the nurses caring for your child or sent directly to Caroline Flynn, Play Department.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] Click here to view Interactive Stories

Click here to view Activity Booklets & Sheets

Click here to view Information Booklets & Leaflets

Ben and Tara - News

Watch the Ben and Tara’s Visits to the Hospital videos here


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