Colour-Me Art Therapy Program
Includes a pencil case, backpack and a canvas featuring lined artwork designed by a Koala Kids volunteer artist and available from Children’s Cancer Centre receptions, day cancer centres and wards plus regional treatment hospitals and Peter Mac.
Koala Kids Activity Kits
Thoughtfully collated kits filled with a journal, pen, pencil, sharpener, eraser and various craft items to encourage a child or young person’s creativity
School Holiday Program
Half day morning sessions provided at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Monash Children’s Hospital and Peter Mac for preschool and young primary school aged children including music, craft and play. During every Victorian state school holiday fortnight.
Koala Kids have carefully selected a range of items that we refer to as our ‘therapeutic items’, which we offer to children and young people during cancer treatments. By providing these, we aim to support the children before, during and after medical procedures through the use of incentives, distractions and rewards for their bravery. We hope that the items will help to minimise the fear, anxiety and pain that may accompany procedures. The items listed below are some examples of the therapeutic items we provide.
Koala Kids Pill Swallowing Kit
This is a specially designed kit for children who have trouble swallowing oral medication. Each kits comes with instructions, an 'I can do it' chart, practice mini M&Ms, reward 'Snakes", merit stickers to monitor progress and a specially designed drink bottle which helps with swallowing. These items are all housed in an easy to keep clean plastic container, which can be doubled as a lunch box. It incorporates all aspects of pain therapy including incentives, distractions and rewards.
Small bottles of bubbles can provide hours upon hours of distraction for a child who is undergoing treatment. Not only do bubbles provide a simple distraction, blowing bubbles can also help a child’s breathing become regular and focused. A wide age range of children may find blowing bubbles enjoyable, and therefore can be a helpful distraction
A Buzzy device helps block sharp pain and provide a distraction to children during medical procedures, such as needles. Buzzy is placed on the skin, using vibration and cold to take the brain's attention away from pain. There is also scientific research around buzzy, which essentially explains that vibration and cold send non-pain signals to the brain. For example, if you accidentally hit your hand on something you instinctively shake it or run it under cold water.
Small cool packs provide pain relief and distraction during treatment. Our cool packs are essentially provided to ease discomfort by numbing pain sensations in a particular area. Each Cool It pack has a different novelty design aimed at children to also divert their attention away from medical procedures.
Novelty Adhesive Bandages
Novelty Band-Aids, Elastoplast and other adhesive bandages are provided to children who have small wounds or who have just had injections. A range of designs to choose from provides both an incentive and distraction for children undergoing treatment.
Novelty Theatre Gowns
Like the novelty band-aids, these fun theatre gowns come with different novelty prints that are relevant to children, such as their favourite Disney movies. These provide an incentive for children having general anaesthetic during treatment, as they know they get to wear a gown covered in fun designs. They can also provide a distraction for the children, as many procedures that require general anaesthetic can be quite daunting.
Stress Relief Balls
Small novelty squeeze balls are provided specifically to children undergoing blood tests or other tests in which they require injections. Squeeze balls assist the doctor/nurse administering the needle as their arm veins become more active and visible.They provide a distraction for children undergoing the procedure and also provide an incentive as every child gets to keep the stress ball that they are provided with. There is vast research behind the stress relief and relaxing effect that squeezing a stress relief ball can have.
Koala Kids Happy Kits
A nylon backpack filled with carefully selected basic and practical items to make hospital stays easier for the children in treatment and parents or carers.
DVDs, Books and Magazines
Koala Kids provides popular titles and quality reading for all ages, on request
Large orange plastic tubs are filled with items and activities for children, young people and adults to select from, enjoy and take home. Available in most wards and waiting areas of The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital as well as specialist clinics, regional treatment hospitals and Emergency departments.
Celebrations and Themed Holidays
We provide small food and iconic items to celebrate local, national and international events throughout the year – Australia Day, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s and Father’s Days, Halloween, Christmas and New Years and others
Colouring, Puzzle and Activity Books
We provide a range of books, pencils, markers etc for all ages including special titles for adults.
Birthdays and End of Treatment Program
Koala Kids provides a chocolate Smash Cake (pignata) complete with rubber mullet, orange flashing glasses and lolly cups for every child celebrating a birthday during treatment. Special giant, chocolate pizza to celebrate a child’s end of treatment.
Every child and young person can enjoy the opportunity to ring the special bell in the Children’s Cancer Centres at The Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Children’s Hospital to celebrate a milestone or end of treatment.
Emergency Personal Hygeine Bags
Resources for children and young people in palliative care
Koala Kids works very closely with the Palliative Care team to ensure they have a wide variety of relevant activities and special items for children and young people who are being cared for palliatively and their siblings. Special custom-made dinosaur and fairy gardens and novelty diffusers and oils are available by request.
Exclusive to The Royal Children’s Hospital
Washing powder sachets
Koala Kids volunteers happily distribute a range of resources and materials including DUPLO and LEGO,
iTunes cards, Koala Kids craft and activity kits and other items to distract and engage children and young people in play.
On the first weekend of each month, Koala Kids provides activities for all of the children and their families as well as lunch for the families and all of the staff from 10.30am each day.
Exclusive to Peter Mac Paediatric Radiotherapy Service
Koala Kids Superhero Program
Provision of a Superhero costume by request plus themed, age relevant resources like books, stickers, games, DVDs, dolls and an end of treatment certificate.
Koala Kids Masks
Children and young people requiring a mask during radiotherapy can request it be transformed into a special piece of art by one of Koala Kids artists for memorabilia.
Peter Mac Adolescent and Young Adult Service
Small grocery items including snacks and condiments are provided
Note to all families
Please ask your family liaison coordinator, NUM, social worker or one of your therapists for more information about any of the above programs and items or any other Koala Kids items or activities.
We are always looking for new ways to make happy help families whose children are undergoing cancer treatment. Please share your experiences and ideas with us if you think they might help to make other families happy too.
Feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org