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Play Department


Caroline Flynn
Senior Play Specialist
CHI at Temple Street
Temple Street
Dublin 1

Tel: (01) 878 4455

CHI at Temple Street’s Play Department supervises play facilities in the playroom, 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 play specialists who 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 Play Specialists are assisted by CHI (Children in Hospital Ireland) volunteers who are fully vetted prior to their placements (please see for more information) and by Early Childhood Education students.

Referral Process

All children who are staying in Temple Street (in-patients) are welcome in the playroom during opening hours. Referrals for specialised play can be made to one of the nurses caring for your child or sent directly to Caroline Flynn, Play Department (contact details above).

Playroom opening times

Monday 10am -12.15pm and 1.30pm – 4pm

Tuesday to Friday 9.30am – 12.15pm and 1.30pm – 4pm




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.

A session in the Multi-Sensory Room is by appointment only. Please contact Caroline Flynn, Play Department (contact details above).


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


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.


The aim of the Pre-Admission Club is to give children and their parents and families a basic understanding of CHI at Temple Street and prepare them for their planned admission for surgery. The club is structured as a fun and informative session. 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 one hour. There are two sessions @ 9.30am and 10.15am

 Who is involved?

A Play Specialist, Staff Nurse, the Theatre Nurse Manager and a Healthcare Assistant are involved in the Pre-Admission Club. The Play Specialist talks briefly about the child’s hospital admission. The Ben and Tara videos are used as visual aids. Hospital equipment such as a stethoscope, blood pressure machine, thermometer, weighing scale and name tags are shown to the children and the use of each is explained. The Staff Nurse takes the children’s temperature and blood pressure. The Staff Nurse also answers questions or concerns about the child’s admission and surgery. The Theatre Nurse Manager gives a brief talk on theatre and shows the children and their parents and families some equipment used in theatre.

The overall aims of the Pre-Admission Club are to reduce anxiety, improve knowledge and understanding of surgery and of life in Temple Street and improve co-operation during procedures.

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


Children in Hospital Ireland (CHI) volunteers

Children need special care in hospitals

Children are particularly vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. Being in hospital can be a source of anxiety and fear, especially if children are unexpectedly separated from their family. Along with having to cope with illness, this difficult experience can affect their normal growth and development.

Children in Hospital Ireland (CHI) is a national non-profit organisation committed to promoting and ensuring the welfare of all children in hospital and their families. For over 45 years the organisation has been directly working with sick children to bring them fun and support. CHI uses its expertise to deliver unique daily and weekly play sessions that support child patients, parents and staff in 13 hospital wards and playrooms nationwide. Please see

CHI volunteers come to the playroom in Temple Street one set morning (9.30-12.30 ) or afternoon (1.30-4.30) per week, to assist the Play Therapy team.

The role of these volunteers is to;  

  • Assist in the provision of play  activities for children of all ages suitable for their age, stage of development and taking abilities and illness into consideration.
  • To assist /help out in multi- sensory room when required
  • To always be aware of safety when assisting in providing activities and when tidying up. (i.e. scissors, small objects)
  • To assist in ensuring that the room is safe and that children are playing safely
  • To read and adhere to all playroom and relevant hospital policies and guidelines
  • To inform staff of any incidents in the playroom.
  • To maintain patient confidentiality


Click here to view Interactive Stories

Click here to view Activity Booklets & Sheets

Click here to view Information Booklets & Leaflets


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