Smiles and Puzzles

1024 768 Viv Levene

Friday 29 January was National Puzzle Day! To celebrate, we delivered packs of puzzles and games to children and teenagers in hospital, as well as providing them with links to download puzzles that they can solve on their tablets and phones.

Companies including Readly, Cheatwell Games and Usborne Books generously donated puzzles, games and digital subscriptions to entertain children and teenagers during their long hospital stays.

Through Spread a Smile’s own research, we know that being seriously ill can be extremely isolating and monotonous for children and their parents. Children and teenagers in hospital are currently more isolated than ever before – they can only have one parent visitor (meaning their other parent and siblings can’t see them), no outside organisations can visit face to face, and even the usual play activities in hospital play rooms are cancelled because of covid isolation rules. Digital activities and puzzles, which children can access from their hospital rooms and cubicles, are more vital than ever.

National Puzzle Day represents a fantastic opportunity to bring more puzzles and games into the hospital environment. Puzzles bring opportunities to develop problem solving skills and set children and teenagers achievable challenges. For children experiencing extended hospital stays offering new opportunities for challenge and distraction is crucial.