Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Resources

Find strategies to help your child, and family, cope with medical procedures, which are often stressful and frightening experiences.

getting an MRI

This child-friendly video cartoon can help prepare your child for getting an MRI. Learn about what an MRI machine looks like, the MRI noise, and how the MRI scan works.

Learn about medical play and its therapeutic benefits for hospitalized children. Find links to age-specific information.

MRI Scanner

An MRI mock scanner simulates the real MRI experience, including the noises the camera makes throughout the scan. It is a useful tool to see how your child will handle the MRI.

The sounds created by an MRI machine can be intimidating for some children as they do not know what to expect. Play these MRI sounds to help your child prepare for their MRI.

Play and recreation can be therapeutic by giving children the opportunity to explore, express and process their healthcare experiences in a safe, non-threatening environment.

Coping During a Doctor’s Visit

Comfort position: Preschooler Side-sitting Position

Comfort positions are secure hugging holds that help your child feel safe and secure during medical procedures. Find several comfort positions that we often recommend for newborns, infants, toddlers and preschoolers.


Children's Books: ADHD


Children's Books: Amputation

This is a story about bears who are each missing a limb. Together they learn how each plays and does day-to-day activities. They also talk about getting  prosthetic limbs to help them. Ages 4+

This book is about Burgess Bear, who is born with one leg, and how he learned to do everything that all his friends could do. Ages 4+


Children's Books: Asthma

This book is about an 8-year-old girl who likes to play like everyone else. She describes how she is learning about asthma and how to better manage her condition. Ages 5+

This book is a fictional story about a child going to asthma camp. It teaches children who have asthma that they are just like everyone else and can have a great time at camp. Ages 4+

This book helps to teach school-age children that classmates with asthma are just regular kids. It provides parents and teachers with the opportunity to talk about classmates who might have asthma. Ages 5+


Children's Books: Autism

A new girl at school has lots of questions about why Andy keeps spinning his yellow Frisbee. Andy’s brother tries to explain how the repetitive motion soothes him. Included is a “what is autism?” section for readers looking for additional information. Ages 5-10

Nick talks about all the fun things he likes to do with his friend, Zack, who has autism, while weaving key facts about autism seamlessly into the storyline. Throughout this book there are “Did You Know” sections for those looking for more information on autism. Ages 4-10

In this story, Angel talks about her friend, Sam, who has autism and helps to explain some common characteristics of autism. This story helps to normalize autism to both children affected with autism as well as their peers. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Cardiac

A rhyming story about a young girl who had heart surgery. She tells the story of how she got the scar on her chest and how she isn’t any different from anyone else. Ages 5+


Children's Books: Chronic Illness

A story about a tree that loses some of its branches during a storm and its journey to healing both physically and emotionally. This book is recommended for children who have experienced life-changing illnesses or accidents by providing comfort, inspiration and an inner sense of well-being. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Cystic Fibrosis

A story about Cadberry, a bunny with cystic fibrosis, that explains the genetic disease and common treatments. It helps normalize cystic fibrosis for younger patients and offers simple ways to talk about the disorder with peers. Ages 3-8

A story about a school-age girl living with cystic fibrosis. She helps to explain the genetic disease and how she lives a normal life with a few modifications. This story is good to help teach classmates about cystic fibrosis. Ages 5+


Children's Books: Diabetes

This book tells the story of when Cooper was brought to the hospital and was diagnosed with diabetes. It includes general information about a hospital visit, while highlighting diagnosis-specific information such as checking blood sugars, insulin injections, and the importance of balanced diet. Ages 4-8

Jayson, a young boy with diabetes, describes his disease, how he checks his blood sugars regularly, and how receives insulin injections to keep his body working properly. The book also offers information so peers can understand the illness as well. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Dialysis

Hannah, a little girl who receives automated peritoneal dialysis at home, talks about her kidneys being sick and why she needs to have dialysis. She describes the basic steps of receiving dialysis at home and how it makes her feel better so she can enjoy the fun things she likes to do. Ages 3-10


Children's Books: Disabilities

Reena the Raccoon meets a new friend, Bluebell, and introduces her to her sister, Brookie. She helps teach Bluebell the many similarities and differences about people with handicaps. Features additional tips for parents/educators and kids/siblings. Ages 4-8

Children who just started wearing a back brace, or soon will be, can benefit from reading this book which helps boost self-esteem and details activities a patient can still enjoy while using the brace. Ages 5-8

Shows that the differences that seem to separate children with disabilities from others are not important. What is important is the common delight in life — a desire to love, learn and play, and to be accepted for who they are. Ages 7-11

A story about a sister about to have a baby brother with Down syndrome. She talks with her father about ways she can play with her new sibling, and learns how it may impact the way they play. The book also addresses common questions about Down syndrome. Ages 5+


Children's Books: Family

This book is for children who are ready for the complete, but basic, story about sexual reproduction. With illustrations and simple terms, the book explains the male and female body, human sexuality, conception, pregnancy, fetal development and birth. Ages 5-9

This story provides examples of what a family can look like and how families can change over time. From nuclear families to multi-generational families, this book addresses the bonds that brings people together. Ages 5-7

An adopted Korean girl has trouble finding her own identity until she discovers her classmates have different types of families and that everyone is different. This book explores how love connects each family. Ages 4+

This story shows how families come in different forms and explains how important it is to accept our differences as a family. It encourages children to ask questions about their own families and understand the many people who love them. Ages 3-6


Children's Books: Feeling/Emotions

Alexander is a young boy who is scared of the dark. He thinks the shadows in his room are monsters. Alexander decides he is going to make friends with the dragon under his bed. Ages 4+

This book assists children in coping with their emotions by following Alexander as he battles through many obstacles, making for a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Ages 6-9

This workbook/coloring book teaches children through creative use of their own definitions that all feelings are “OK;” it’s how we choose to respond and act when we feel a certain way that matters most. Age 5+

A story about Carlin, a young raccoon, who is scared of lots of things. He goes to Big Bear, the bravest animal, for help. Ages 3-7

The book explores Rufus the fox in a story of similes leading to his birthday party. Ages 4-7

This book walks children through the many instances in which they would be feeling two emotions at the same time, in settings such as school, with siblings and at home. Ages 4-8

This book follows a school-age boy through many feelings associated with peers, caregivers and his own feelings in rhyming sequences. Ages 4-7

The monsters in this book talk about different feelings and give examples of what makes them feel the different feelings. The story asks children to talk about what makes them feel glad, angry, loving, sad, worried, scared or silly. Ages 3-6

This book follows Felix throughout his day as the water in his bucket increases and decreases with the emotions of the day. Ages 3-8

This book helps children understand that they may have many feelings and all these feelings are OK. It talks to children about “feelings” being their friends and why it’s important to listen to their feelings. Ages 3+

This book follows a little girl as she tells readers why she gets mad. The book emphasizes that it is alright to be mad sometimes and normalizes the sometimes frustrating emotion. Ages 4+

This story takes you through the life of Miss Rumphius who keeps a promise she made to her grandfather to make the world a more beautiful place. Ages 5-10

Dr. Seuss uses his rhyming fashion to explain to children different feelings that they can have by giving emotions a color that we can feel in the day. Ages 3-7

Priscilla follows her friends and their feelings. This book fosters discussion by asking children when was the last time they felt the same emotions as the characters in this book. Ages 3-6

A story about Emily and her older sister, Alicia, who gives her the task of learning about empathy. We follow Emily as she goes about her day standing in other people’s shoes and reflects on the good feelings she has from becoming more empathetic. Ages 5-10

This book follows “One of a Kind” as he battles challenges with bullying. He and his mother make a plan on what to say when he is teased again. Ages 5-12

This book shows examples of many emotions, from feeling lonely to feeling silly. The book advises children that no matter how they feel, they should not keep these feelings inside, but share them with someone they love. Ages: 3-6

This interactive book helps kids understand different emotions like anger, stress and love, and provides information on how to understand these emotions. Ages 5+

This book follows a school-age girl as she tells of all the feelings she is having and why. At the end of the book, children are able to identify how they feel from silly, happy and excited to cranky, angry and sad. Ages 4-8

This book teaches 10 life lessons through short rhyming explanations that grab children’s attention. Themes such as persistence, having choices, creating peace and being healthy are explored. It includes examples and illustrations of how children may apply the lesson to their everyday life. Ages 4-8

This book helps children transition back to school by following Wemberly as she returns to school. Wemberly worries about almost everything, but when she meets a new friend at school, she is finally able to put some of those worries aside. Ages 4-8

A story about a little girl who becomes very angry about sharing her toys with her sister. The story shows how Sophie calms herself down after she gets really upset. Ages 4-8

This book follows Wilma as she identifies all the things that make her worry. Her teacher helps her decide whether these are worries she can control or not. There is a helpful page for parents with tips on dealing with an anxious child. Ages 7-10

This book follows Zach as he goes to the beach and has to learn how to handle frustrations by naming them, finding ways to tame them and reframing them from negative thoughts into positive ones. Ages 4-7


Children's Books: Going to the Hospital/Doctor

This book helps kids be less scared from going to the doctor. Elmo helps keep kids company so a check-up can be about learning something new.

A story to help teach kids about some of the common words they might hear at the hospital or doctor’s office. Each word correlates with a letter in the alphabet. Ages 4-8

This child-friendly encyclopedia helps children to explore the human body with fun facts and pictures. It also provides information about fertilization. Ages 9+

This book follows Grover for his trip to the hospital for a tonsillectomy. Grover’s mother bring him to the hospital for a tour exploring the patient rooms, X-ray  machine, playroom, operating room, library and much more to ease his fear. Ages 4-8

This interactive, rhyming story is perfect for preschool children. It teaches kids why they get sick and how they get better with medicine or rest. Ages 3+

This book follows Big Bird and Granny as he goes for a check-up with the doctor. Big Bird expresses his emotions about the visit as he gets his height, weight and temperature taken and his eyes checked. Ages 4-8

When Cooper falls and hits his head, his doctor wants him to have a CT scan to make sure everything is OK. This book does a great job at explaining what a CT scan is and the different things that kids will see and feel and may be asked to do during the scan. Ages 4-8

This story follows George as he accidently eats a piece of a jigsaw puzzle. He visits the doctor’s office, and after an X-ray, he is admitted to the hospital for surgery. Follow George through surgery, making friends, and causing some trouble. Ages 4-8

This book follows Franklin for his first trip to the hospital for surgery to fix his shell after being hit by a soccer ball. It explains the use of anesthesia, the hospital environment, X-ray and surgery. Ages 3-8

This book explains each step of a visit to the doctor, from the stethoscope and checking reflexes to eye exams and receiving shots. Ages 4+

This book is about Little Critter’s journey to the hospital after a soccer injury. We follow him into the ambulance, X-ray machine, getting a cast, and learning to use crutches. Ages 4-8

This book explains the use of medical equipment, such as an exam table, otoscope, tongue depressor, stethoscope and needles, to help prepare children for their visit to the doctor’s office. Ages  Ages 3-6

A story of Dora’s visit to the doctor’s office for a checkup. The doctor checks important things like Dora's height and weight and listens to her heart. This story is good for young children who are nervous about going to the doctor. Ages 3+

This interactive book explains common childhood injuries, including burns, stitches and rashes. The stories are told in rhymes throughout and have flaps to lift for more information, as well as touch and feel for additional learning. Ages 3+

This book tells the story from the perspective of a young boy named Luke who’s getting ear tubes. Luke talks about having vital signs taken, receiving anesthesia, and recovering from a surgery while sharing his feelings of the process throughout. Ages 4-10


Children's Books: Grief/Loss

A workbook for school-age children to help with identifying and expressing feelings after the death of someone in their family. Includes pages for children to write or draw pictures of their family and the person who died. Ages 6+

The grieving process can be especially difficult and overwhelming for teenagers. This journal affirms the grieving teen’s journey and offers gentle, healing guidance. Ages 12+

This book helps children understand that death is a natural part of a person’s lifetime. A funeral is discussed as well as the many types of feelings children might have following the death of a loved one. Ages 4+

Explains life and death in the form of beginnings, endings and living in between. Describes the lifetimes of plants, animals and people in a very easy way for children to understand. Ages 5+

A story that explains to children how to keep loved ones close at heart by imagining that they are connected to them by an invisible string. This helps remind children that they are never alone, and can be helpful in engaging in conversations about separation or loss. Ages 3+

A rhythmic poem with beautiful illustrations that describes what “the next place” might look like without adding a religious context. Appropriate for parents, caregivers and school-age children. Ages 5+

A story about two waterbugs and what happens to one when it goes above the water and turns into a dragonfly. After trying to return to the water below and finds it cannot, it realizes that it will be reunited with the other waterbugs one day when they become dragonflies. Ages 4+

Story of grief following the loss of a baby. The book is told from a sibling’s perspective about anticipating a new baby being in the house and the sadness that follows when the baby dies unexpectedly. Ages 3+

The author speaks directly to kids about what death means and how to cope. Many questions that kids have are asked, such as: How, why, what’s next, what happens to the body etc. Overwhelming emotions and varying emotions are also discussed. Ages 5-10

Kate is a little girl who learns that her great-grandmother has died. Kate and her mom talk about the difference between body and soul, feelings when someone dies, what a funeral is and what they think heaven is like. Ages 5+

A story about the death of a little boy's dad and how he comes to the ultimate realization that within his heart and memory that his dad will continue to be close to him. Ages 4-8

Daniel loves to take trips to the neighborhood grocery and enjoys the company of Mr. James who owns the store. One day, they find that the store had been robbed, money was stolen and Mr. James was hurt in the process. Daniel’s parents talk to him about why this bad thing happened to a good person. Ages 7+


Children's Books: Guided Imagery

A book for children to help with relaxation. Encourages using imagination as well as deep breathing in order to cope with pain. Additional section for parents explaining techniques and tips. Ages 2+


Children's Books: Hearing Impairment

Jacob, a young boy with hearing impairment, gives a basic medical description of his condition, as well as common treatments and equipment used by people with hearing issues. A quiz is included for children, as well as a tip section for teachers. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Oncology

This is the true story of a young girl named Alex who was diagnosed with cancer. The focus of the story is on Alex’s efforts to raise money for her hospital and other kids battling the disease. This story promotes the idea of positive coping and giving back in an understandable, age-appropriate way. Ages 4+

This book addresses the issue of hair loss that can accompany many cancer treatments. It follows the story of a young girl named Kathy and her journey to becoming comfortable with being bald. Ages 4+

Max is a young boy who’s just been diagnosed with leukemia, a form of cancer. Max describes and normalizes a complicated childhood condition. The book helps children identify why a peer may be treated differently and begin to empathize with them. Includes a quiz for children and a tip section for teachers who may have students with cancer. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Seizure

Mike has epilepsy and sometimes it’s hard to feel like a “real” kid. He is scared of letting other people know about his disease — or even worse, being seen having a seizure! Co-written by a real-life basketball star with epilepsy, it's an empowering story written to help kids learn to deal with adversity and to take control of their lives.

A story about Jaime, who has epilepsy (seizure disorder). Jaime talks about what seizures are, what they may look like and what it's like to be in school with a seizure disorder. Jaime explains that she is just like everyone else and doesn't want to be treated differently. Ages 3+


Children's Books: Self-Esteem

A story of a young African-American girl, Nia, who points out all the positive things she likes about herself. This book is relatable to all children with a simple message of liking everything about themselves. Ages 3-8

This book teaches children important messages such as acceptance, understanding, and having confidence in themselves. With its bright colors and silly pictures, it encourages children to celebrate individuality and respect differences. Ages 3-6

A story about Toodles, a turkey who doesn’t like herself and goes in search of a new voice before she realizes that her gobble can help save the day. This book uses lively rhymes and funny illustrations to help children embrace their differences. Ages 4-8

This book promotes self-esteem in young children by recognizing that all children are unique and special. Short affirmations teach children to listen to their bodies for their physical and emotional needs. Age 3-8


Children's Books: Sexual Abuse

The book teaches young children about appropriate touching and how to resist touching that makes them feel uncomfortable. Written by an expert in sexual abuse prevention, the story is written to help adults and preschool children talk about sexual abuse in a way that minimizes embarrassment and fear, and emphasizes open communication. Ages 3-8

A story from a mother to a daughter explaining what parts of her body are private and what to do if someone tries to touch her. This story encourages children to be open and honest when talking to a trustworthy adult about inappropriate touching. Ages 3-8


Children's Books: Siblings

This interactive story explains some of the normal reactions of a sibling of a hospitalized child. Throughout this story the author asks question to the person reading it and offers helpful tips for parents. Ages 3+

Together Toby and his sister Clemmie can conquer anything — even the scary hospital — with the right attitude and a dose of fun. This is a positive and light-hearted book that encourages imagination and sibling relationships in order to help children be brave in the hospital and throughout life. Ages 5–7

This book asks questions related to having a sibling with special needs such as: “Does your sibling ever embarrass you?” and “What life lessons have you learned from being a sibling?” The responses from other children and teens dealing with the same issues may be helpful for young adults seeking comradery and someone to relate to. Ages 13+

In this chapter book, 45 siblings share their experiences as the brother or sister of someone with a disability. Their personal tales introduce young siblings to others like them and allow them to compare experiences. A glossary of disabilities provides easy-to-understand definitions of many of the conditions mentioned. Ages 9+

Using the story of siblings, Laura and Tom, this book explores how a child may be feeling and reacting to their sibling being in the hospital. It also includes an introduction to parents on how to help their children cope with a sibling’s illness. Ages 4-10


Children's Books: Tracheostomy

This book tells the story of Slade, a young boy who will be starting preschool just like his peers except for one small thing, his trach. With information about what a trach is, this book focuses on the positive — everything a child with a trach can do and enjoy. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Emotional Trauma

A story of a raccoon that experiences something terrible he cannot forget about. This book doesn’t describe the terrible thing — only the feeling and emotions it provokes. The story encourages children to talk about their feelings and things that scare them in order to bring them peace and closure. Ages 4-8


Children's Books: Vision Impairment

Luna doesn’t like her name and doesn’t like to wear her glasses. But when Luna's father explains the meaning of her name, it helps Luna feel good about herself and she decides to wear her glasses. Ages 5+