Welcome to our Health Play Services Hub! 

The place for Health Play teams to get support, find resources, and hear the latest news from the world of play.

Box services

Our boxes are designed to use the power of play to help children and young people through scary treatments, long term conditions, and more. 

Whether it’s providing an important distraction, or helping a child understand their treatment, our boxes help seriously ill children be themselves and feel less alone.

Our box services are going out in the next quarter of the year as follows:

April - Distraction Box Re-fills, Prep Box, Sensory Box, Baby Box

May - Sensory Box, Distraction Box re-fills, Play Essentials Box

June - Distraction Box Re-fills, Play Well Box, Baby Box, Sensory Box

Box applications close on the 14th of each month. For example, if you would like a Prep Box in April, you need to apply before the 14th of March.

Our baby boxes contain tools and resources to support the development through play of ages 0-3.

We've developed this selection of activities and interactive toys to support play professionals to build relationships with children and their families through play.

From stress balls to push poppers, groan tubes to maracas, our Sensory Boxes are designed to encourage children with additional needs to relax with fun, interactive toys, and games to support their individual needs.

Our Distraction Boxes are designed to provide healthcare professionals with a toolkit of resources to help distract and reassure children during procedures and in other stressful situations, including toys, games and puzzles, to help children feel less anxious before, during and after tests and treatments.

All the goodies inside help capture children’s attention, bring smiles to their faces, and help them believe they can cope. When you’re young and in a healthcare setting, that matters more than ever. Please note we’re currently only providing Distraction Box Refills.

Our Play Well Box is focused on supporting young people aged 10+ and full of cosy, calming and restorative things that aim to help young people relax and engage, including puzzles, games and other activities.

Our Story Box is designed to encourage children aged 3+ to engage with immersive storytelling, in their own way. We have included different ways of engaging with the stories, including:

  • An audio tool which brings stories to life for children
  • Arts and crafts activities linked to the stories included in the box
  • Activities which support children to become enthralled in the story, including dress up play.

Play professionals frequently tell us that the bulk of their work can be focused around supporting children before, during, and after stressful procedures where children need some further understanding on what will be happening to them.

This box has been designed to provide the ‘must have’ resources on wards and in healthcare settings, including:

  • Ways to enable children to personalise their bed space, e.g. fairy lights
  • Reward charts
  • Arts and crafts

This service will equip play professionals with the tools needed to make life in hospital more playful.

Resources for health play professionals

Are you working with a child or young person who deserves a celebration or award? Use our free print off PDF certificates to show off their achievements with pride!

Bubble certificate - green

Bubble certificate - orange

Framed certificate - green

Use our free downloadable reward charts to keep track of whatever you like!

Reward chart - blank

Reward chart - with the days of the week

Here's a place to document interaction and support provided to children and their families.

Audit Sheet - double

Audit Sheet - single

Descriptions of the role of a health play specialist and a playworker. Use these to display within healthcare settings, so everyone can understand these roles.

Health play specialist role

Playworker Role

A document used by Health Play professionals to document a child's development when in hospital, for long-term or reoccurring stays. This can support their development progress and limit development regression.

Play Programme

Play Programme Example

A document to share with medical teams, to enable them to highlight a child who can benefit from the input from a play specialist.

Play Specialist Referral Form

A document for health play teams to use to document the cleaning of play resources, to meet infection control guidance.

Weekly Cleaning Log

A sign to use on wards, procedure rooms, and medical areas to remind staff to call for a health play specialist to support the procedure. It gives details of each area of procedure support and how a play specialist can help.

STOP Call a HPS

Meet our Health Play Team

Meet Lucy, Ellie, Lowri and Keshia

We’re working with partners in paediatric palliative care and hospitals to fund these four health play professionals. They’re working in healthcare settings across the UK.

Hear about their important work in our blog posts from Keshia and Ellie.

Play has a vital role in providing these children with that little bit of normality; whether it be for a day or months on end. As play staff, we are there to try make the hospital experience a positive one.


Other ways we help

There's more to Starlight than boxes (although we think they're pretty great!), we offer a variety of tools and equipment to meet the play needs of children of all ages in hospital, including our Sensory Voyager and RockinR Gaming Cart.