The Child Life Zone

The Child Life Zone, also called The Zone, is a therapeutic and educational play environment for pediatric patients and their families at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai.

The Zone offers a place to play, learn, laugh, and relax for your child and your family. The Child Life Zone is a state-of-the-art environment that meets the special needs of children and adolescents coping with illness and hospitalization. Open seven days a week, The Child Life Zone is available to medically cleared patients over age three who receive care within the Department of Pediatrics at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai.

The Child Life Zone is staffed by professionally credentialed child life specialists, child life assistants, creative arts therapists, and graduate interns. In The Zone, qualified volunteers and community partners share their talents in art, music, cooking, and more.

Inside the Zone

At The Child Life Zone, we have several programs designed to appeal to young patients.

  • KidZone TV is a state-of-the-art interactive production and broadcast studio offering live and pre-recorded programming for viewing within the hospital. Children and adolescents in The Child Life Zone can participate in program production behind and in front of the cameras, learning new skills and sharing them with others. Children who are confined to their rooms or in other areas of the hospital can participate in a range of activities broadcast on KidZone TV, such as game shows and question and answer sessions with musicians, actors, magicians, and sports stars.
  • The Theater offers first-run movies and live entertainment. Patient and family support groups, special events, and educational experiences all take place in this dynamic environment.
  • The Family Corner is a place for family members of pediatric patients to learn more about their condition and treatment. Child Life staff is there to answer questions. This quiet space offers computers with internet access for online information complimentary coffee and tea, a phone charging station, and other amenities to ease the hospital stay. Child Life staff also hosts caregiver coffee hours and other activities within this comfortably appointed room.
  • The Huddlenet is an open, airy, recreation area designed for organized and informal play and art activities. It has a full kitchen, a Garth Brooks Stage (a performing space for children and celebrity guests), computers, video game consoles, and game tables. We post the schedule of Huddlenet activities outside of The Child Life Zone.
  • The Quiet Room is a comfortably furnished room with beautiful year-round views of Central Park. A great place to relax or talk quietly, away from the medical units. In addition, we offer healing services such as meditation, in this special room.
  • Learning at the Child Life Zone enables hospitalized children and adolescents to keep up with their schoolwork. New York State-certified teachers conduct lessons in The Child Life Zone every weekday during the academic year. All school-aged students can participate. This program is supported by the New York City Department of Education.
  • Day of Ambulatory Surgery Waiting Area is a space inside The Child Life Zone filled with toys and comfortable seating for patients and family members of all ages. Children and adolescents coming to the hospital for surgery can engage in play activities here while waiting for outpatient surgery.
  • Andrew Baeumler Pediatric Technology and Computer Program, funded by the Frances Pope Memorial Foundation since 1999, enhances the quality of life for pediatric patients during hospitalization. This valuable gift was developed at Mount Sinai in memory of Andrew Baeumler, who, as a patient here expressed his desire for increased access to technology. This program helps us bring today’s technologies to our young patients, to maintain and promote what is now a normal and expected level of connectivity for the families we serve.
  • Paws & Play, supported by PetSmart Charities®, is our animal-assisted therapy program. Our facility dog, Professor, can spend time with children, taking walks, playing with toys, or just snuggling. Studies show that spending time with a trained animal can reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and decrease depression and fatigue. Professor is part golden retriever and part poodle.

The Story Behind The Child Life Zone

The Child Life Zone is the fifth facility of its kind created and funded by the Garth Brooks Teammates for Kids Foundation, under the leadership of country music star, Garth Brooks, and Hall of Fame legend, Troy Aikman. Additional support for The Child Life Zone comes from the enCourage Kids Foundation,  The Mount Sinai Children’s Center Foundation, and individual donors committed to helping seriously ill children and their families.

How You Can Help

Volunteers help make The Child Life Zone programs and activities available to as many patients and families as possible. You do not need to have a special skill or talent to be a valuable member of the team. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Diane Albert in the Department of Volunteer Services at diane.albert@mountsinai.org, or 212-241-0478. For information on making a financial contribution to The Child Life Zone, please contact: Diane Rode, Director, Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department, at diane.rode@mountsinai.org or 212-241-8024.