Children’s Hospital Grantees Report Funding has been Invaluable in Providing Play to Improve Care

elizabeth-seton-childrens-centerJuly 26, 2023 | Play-focused coping kits, inclusive toys and books, and medical-themed educational board games are among the play projects The Toy Foundation™’s (TTF) Children’s Hospital Play Grants program has funded to improve pediatric care at hospitals nationwide. Play projects are in-kind services where hospitals are reliant on external funding or donations to provide to children and their families, and TTF’s grants help fill these funding and resource gaps.

Six months following the distribution of funds to 19 children’s hospitals that serve under-resourced communities, TTF is sharing the initial impact of these grants. To date, greater access to play has positively supported the health and overall wellbeing for thousands of children, plus parents are grateful for the distraction and smiles play creates, and hospital staff are displaying improved moral.

Highlights from the progress reports include:

  • Elizabeth Seton Children’s Center in Yonkers, New York is implementing creative playtime with its new 3D printer with projects like creating a toy violin to create beautiful music, easter eggs to decorate hospital rooms, and colorful clips to decorate feeding poles.
  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange, California is now able to give every new patient admitted to its mental health inpatient center a “Welcome Coping Kit,” complete with tangible and safe toys children are using to develop positive coping skills.
  • Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey is creating new experiences and bonding opportunities for its teens and families by hosting recreational and social activities, including a spring egg hunt that had record attendance filled with games, activities, and crafts.
  • El Paso Children’s Hospital in El Paso, Texas has purchased age-appropriate toys for its Child Life Specialists to use with hundreds of children to help explain their diagnosis, what will happen in a procedure, and encourage creativity and self-expression.
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago purchased toys and books that represent different races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and family systems to help their children develop social and emotional awareness and learn social values like inclusivity and compassion.

“We are so grateful for these new play tools! Engaging patients with inclusive and adaptive play items provides our volunteers a better way to meet our patients where they are and demonstrate that all aspects of their identity and experiences are important, valued, and safe to bring to the space,” shared Courtney Calero, volunteer programs lead coordinator at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program is the toy industry’s solution to deliver the extraordinary benefits of play to under-resourced children’s hospitals. With opportunities for small, medium, and large companies alike, TTF distributes play grants annually, coordinates product donations through The Toy Bank℠, and offers engagement opportunities to positively impact pediatric patients, their families, and the hospital staff.

“We are delighted our funding has had a strong initial impact and we look forward to continue supporting these amazing hospitals in delivering the joy of play,” said Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation.

Companies and individuals interested in getting involved in TTF’s Children’s Hospital Play Grants program may reach out to TTF staff.

To learn more about The Toy Foundation, visit