Making friends illustrated hero

The Power of Play

Great Ormond Street Hospital’s expert Play team knows play can help children cope with whatever life throws at them. It helps children feel happier and builds emotional resilience.

Helping children through life's challenges

Now, teaming up with GOSH Charity and some much-loved children’s characters, the GOSH Play team is sharing expert play tips and resources with parents across the UK. These can help all children through life’s challenges, big or small, from making friends to coping with loss.

Browse the free play activities below.

We intend this page be used by parents and caregivers, who may choose to watch the content or share it with their children. GOSH Charity is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of any third-party content linked to or embedded on this site and sharing with children is at the discretion of the adult.

Jump straight in to our exclusive play activities and resources

How can play help?

The world of childhood has changed so much since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Children have missed out on time with family, school and playdates. Now, as well as everyday challenges, like falling out with friends or first-day-at-school nerves, they’re having to cope with the worries of living with a global pandemic.

There is one simple, powerful tool you can use to help the children in your life with these worries. Play…

Sian Spencer-Little and Austin having a play session

The value of play

“Play has an astounding ability to connect and open up communication with children and young people. When children are feeling unsettled or have an abundance of strong feelings inside them, we can use play to help them identify and express those feelings. We can support them to form strategies to help them feel safer, calmer and empowered to make decisions about how to cope next time they feel that way.”
Sian Spencer-Little, Deputy Head of Play

At GOSH, Jennie and Gabriel sing, play games and dance!

Gabriel is treated at GOSH for a rare type of childhood cancer. He's been coming to the hospital for two years and is now in his final year of treatment. During this time, the GOSH Play team became a key source of support for him and his mum.

“The Play specialist Jennie, she’s amazing,” says Gabriel’s mum Seyrah. "She and Gabriel are like best friends. It made him so happy... He had something else to look forward to, it wasn’t just medicines.”

Find out more about how play helped Gabriel during his time at GOSH.