The Benefits of Play for Children with Illnesses: A Practitioner's Perspective

Open Access
Lennox, Melissa
Area of Honors:
Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Linda L Caldwell, Thesis Supervisor
  • Deborah Lee Kerstetter, Honors Advisor
  • illness
  • play
  • children
Play is more than a leisure activity. It is often thought of as a child’s “work” which provides them with a sense of meaning. In this study of the benefits of the therapeutic use of play for children with illnesses and disabling conditions, 10 practitioners in the fields of child life and therapeutic recreation participated. The participating practitioners completed a series of interview questions. The questions focused on practitioners’ view of the short-term and long-term beneficial outcomes of play. The results showed significant, positive outcomes of using play as an intervention. Overall, it was concluded that therapeutic play inherently benefits children in a clinical setting.