Finding Stability

5 Easter Celebration Ideas for Young Cancer Patients in the Hospital

Decorate craft eggs to keep or give away as gifts this Easter. Bring the supplies to your child's room and get the whole family in on the fun.

If your child needs to be in the hospital through the Easter holiday, the Easter Bunny can still hop into the room. Decorate with bright, spring colors and bring on the crafts, eggs and activities! These five Easter celebration ideas will bring the festivities to your child and brighten the spirits of others who are in the hospital.

Creative Egg Hunts

Easter egg hunts can be done anywhere, and you can add in a creative spin to the traditional hunt in the kid’s unit. Naturally you’ll want to include other patients as well as siblings as part of the fun, but be sure to check with staff and other parents before planning this one. Once you get the go ahead, make sure to be mindful of any allergies your participants may have when you fill your eggs—toys and small art supplies are safe bets.

With the nursing staff’s permission, you can hide goodies in rooms and common areas, or change up the hunt (and keep it sanitary) by taking the eggs off the ground! Hang strings around the room and down the hallway, then lightly tape eggs to the string so your child can gently pluck the eggs down. Another fun alternative is to hold the fun until dark, and use flashlights to find the eggs or coat them in glow-in-the-dark paint.

Share the Love

Create a new twist on traditional Easter celebration ideas by turning eggs into gifts. Start with craft eggs, dye, paint, tissue paper, glitter and other decorating supplies. Just make sure they’re all non-toxic without any strong smells.

Let your child design the eggs and make them into ornaments. This activity can be done anywhere, including in a hospital bed. Hang the ornaments on a small artificial tree where visitors, patients and even staff can pick one up and treasure. You can also display the masterpieces in a festive basket rather than getting a tree.

Decorate a Plate for the Easter Bunny

You’ll need a light-colored ceramic plate, colored markers and stencils. Let your child design the plate with a special note for the Easter Bunny. Place the plate on a table in the room to leave carrots. If you’d rather create a keepsake, let your child decorate the plate with an Easter design and have visitors, friends and staff write special messages.

Host a Photo Shoot

One of the fun parts of Easter is getting dressed-up. Being in the hospital doesn’t have to change that. Go fancy with frills and accessories or be silly with bunny ears, hats and funny sunglasses. Have the whole family dressed up and host a photo shoot in the room. For more fun, talk with staff about setting up a photo shoot space in a common area and involve other patients on the unit. Share the pictures on social media and get support along with the joy you feel by celebrating!

Add Excitement to Finding the Basket

Rather than having the Easter basket in plain sight on Sunday morning, make it a game. Set up a trail of bunny prints, made of construction paper, leading to the basket. Or create a treasure hunt to find the goodies, as long as the staff and other patients are OK with it. Be creative and talk with staff about fun places to hide the basket in the room or around the unit.

Although the hospital isn’t the ideal place to spend Easter, you can create great memories for the whole family. Remember to avoid flowers, latex products or foods that are likely to cause allergies. Whatever you plan, be sure to talk with staff members to ensure all activities are safe as well as fun.

Pediatric cancer is never easy to deal with. UVA Children’s Hospital is here to help.

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Patricia Chaney
Patricia Chaney