Our second event at Franciscan Children’s worked with their behavioral health unit, children ages 5 to 12. Due to the diversity of ages and interests of the kids, we did not follow a single cohesive theme this event and instead brought in a variety of activities—superhero masks, crafts, and temporary tattoos; princess crowns/boas, crafts, makeup, and manicures; and an Earth Day craft (suncatchers). The event took place in a single multipurpose room where we set up stations that kids could circle around to. Due to the nature of the unit, many of the patients hospitalized experienced self-esteem issues and a lack of self-confidence. The welcoming, nonjudgmental atmosphere of the event encouraged kids to participate in what they felt comfortable doing, be it boys getting their nails painted or girls dressing up as superheroes.
Some patients commented how they wish they could do this every day and that this was one of their favorite days at the hospital. Of the volunteers, a few were titleholders in the Miss America Organization in Massachusetts and one was a titleholder from New Hampshire. The kids had fun trying on crowns and sashes.