kid painting and doing arts and crafts
Ways to Give

Events and Entertainment

Entertainment for hospitalized children is of paramount benefit for the patients and their families.  Often a magic show, craft workshop, musical event, or a visit from their favourite celebrity will be a highlight of the day or even the hospital experience.

The Child Life Department strives to provide these unique opportunities to the children. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to you for offering to donate your time to help make the hospitalization and illness process a more positive experience for all.

Please read the following guidelines to ensure that your proposed event meets hospital policy:

  • All visiting entertainers will be screened and approved in advance by the Child Life Department. Please make sure that you have contacted us at least 2 weeks prior to your proposed date at donations.coordinator@sickkids.ca
  • In accordance with our infection control policies, all visiting entertainers must be over 18 years of age to participate in a patient event.
  • We have strict rules around the confidentiality and privacy of our children. Photographs and videotaping of patients, families and the hospital are NOT permitted unless approved by the Child Life Department prior to the event.  Any photography or videography that has been approved will be done in the presence of a representative of the Public Affairs Department. Media access to hospital events is not guaranteed and will be considered on a case by case basis.
  • Our facility cares for patients from various ethnic, cultural and faith backgrounds. Event content must be politically and religiously neutral.
  • As entertaining visitors, please remember that violent and threatening themes and objects can be particularly stressful for hospitalized children. We therefore request that your event not include items such as fire, weapons, scary costumes, and themes such as death, violence or illness. In addition, latex balloons and live animals are not permitted in the hospital.
  • Events in the Family Centre typically cannot accommodate more than two to three volunteers due to space constraints.  Exceptions will be considered for hands-on activities.

Due to staffing and volunteer resources, the times when we can accommodate your special event best are:

Monday- Friday
10 - 11:30 a.m.
1 - 4 p.m

*Some exceptions may be approved by the Child Life Department.

For more information, contact the Donations Coordinator.

Once your event has been screened and approved please keep in mind:

  • Hospitalized children are particularly vulnerable to common illness such as colds and flues. Prior to your visit, please ensure that all members of your group have not been exposed to chicken pox or are exhibiting any signs or symptoms of colds and flues including but not limited to: runny nose, coughing, sore throat, vomiting and diarrhea. If any symptoms are present please consider re-scheduling your event or asking the affected person not to participate.
  • If you wish to distribute toys, prizes or gifts, please ensure that you have received approval from the Child Life Department before doing so.
  • The selling of materials such as CD’s, books etc. is not permitted unless prior approval from the Child Life Department has been received.
  • SickKids cares for children with varying degrees of illness and disability. We are not able to guarantee the numbers of participants but will encourage those children who are able, to attend. Many of the children will have reduced attention spans or will have to come and go due to medical treatments and procedures. It is therefore optimal to limit your event between 30 – 60 minutes.

Please remember that above all, our patients are CHILDREN who have interests the same as you. 

With the help of the Child Life Department and SickKids Children’s Council we are happy to assist in making recommendations on how to engage and invite children to participate in your event. 

Hospitalized children may require specialized accommodations that will be assessed by the Child Life Department to meet hospital policy regarding quality and risk.