Play time!

Arts and Activities

“All the toys and distractions make the waiting so much more bearable.”

A tired mum

We fund an extensive Arts Programme, providing fun, creativity and distraction by delivering a wide variety of arts activities for children throughout the hospital.


COVID-19 is changing all our lives. Our Arts Team usually work on the wards, in the waiting room and in hospital play rooms every day. They work directly with children, young people and families, delivering art workshops and facilitating activities with our Arts Programme partners such as Tinderbox Collective, National Galleries, Dance Base, National Museum of Scotland and Capital Theatres.

In response to the restrictions and changing need arising from COVID-19, the team is developing new ways to help engage, distract and relax children while unable to access the wards or provide face to face support. It is more important than ever before to support children's mental health and to reduce their fear and the isolation of being in hospital.

Studio Boxes


Every child visiting the hospital during the pandemic will receive a Studio Box containing arts resources, inspiration and instruction that can be self-led or used with the hospital Play Team or visiting family member at the bedside.

The first Paint Studio Boxes contain items including watercolour pencils, hanging gallery set, drawing/painting activities and illustrations to add colour to. Other boxes planned in the coming weeks and months include Printmaking Studio Box, Sculpture Studio Box, Photo Studio Box and Magic Studio Box. 

Bedside Galleries


The Arts Team are making sure children in isolation have everything they need to create their own gallery in their space. This is a quick, creative way for children to make their isolation room feel a little less scary and more like their own home. 

Made using the Studio Boxes and other quality arts materials, children have the option to create whatever they like. The galleries will be deliberately easy to use and install; using simple pegs and string to create a hanging system means children, their family member or care teams can hang their galleries on their bed or isolation room walls. 

Creative Writing Studio


Creative writing and bullet journal packs have been developed in consultation with children and young people staying in the residential service of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. 

The creative writing and bullet journal packs have been created based on the interests of the current young people in the unit. Bullet journals are a system of keeping a diary that is ordered, recording daily experiences, goals and tasks in a specific way. They are very popular on social media just now. The young people at CAMHS had asked the Occupational Therapists if they could do an activity using bullet journals - we are delighted to be able to respond to this.

At Home Resources


ECHC and our partners have developed a wide range of fun and creative resources to help keep children and families entertained and distracted while isolating during lockdown. Have a go of some of the activities below! 

Dance with Christina

DanceBase Instructor Christina usually visits the hospital once a week to run bedside workshops, working closely with the hospital's physiotherapists to tailor sessions for the individual needs of each child. Now she wants to dance with you. Put on your dancing shoes and get moving!









Sick Kids Community Choir

Learn calming breathing exercises and singalong to Moon River with Sick Kids Community Choir Leader Caro.




Colouringness Book

The Colouringness Book is a colouring in book with mindfulness techniques which young people who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) have created. Click here to download your own book. 

The colouring-in pictures are from sessions undertaken by young people with ADHD at the National Museum of Scotland, with support from Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity. You will see the inspirational art work by the young people and a photograph of the actual object from the Museum, as well as the pictures to be coloured in. You will also find a scattering of Mindfulness techniques to help you along the way. Listen below as Grant Stott guides you through the book.



“The Charity provides so much fun that I often have a job on my hands trying to get Emily home when she is better!”

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