South Auckland > Public Hospital Services > Kidz First Children's Hospital & Community Health >

Kidz First Play Specialists

Public Service, Other, Paediatrics


Who Are We?
Kidz First Play Specialists use psychosocial assessment to identify and support the specific needs of your child to manage their hospital stay. Our goals are to minimise stress and anxiety associated with the hospital environment and medical interventions through increasing your child’s understanding and knowledge. Through play we are able to identify your child’s stress points and implement age appropriate coping strategies.


How Do We Help?
We believe that children and young people have the strengths and the ability to manage being in hospital if they are knowledgeable about what is being asked of them.

Kidz First Play Specialists help to build your child’s resilience. We work together with you and your child to explore your child’s previous experiences and understanding of their hospital admission. With this information we are able to establish coping strategies that meet your child’s specific needs.

Our services include:

  • Supporting and enhancing existing child and family abilities to cope with potentially difficult or overwhelming situations of being in hospital
  • Provide age appropriate preparation for surgeries, MRI, CT, x-ray, PICC lines etc.
  • Procedural support for medical interventions e.g. blood tests, IV leur insertions, dressing changes. This may include comfort positioning, alternative focus strategies, exploring pain management options
  • Age appropriate education supporting understanding of diagnosis and treatment plan
  • Therapeutic play opportunities to gain confidence within hospital environment and medical equipment
  • Play opportunities at bedside and in the activity rooms.

If you would like support from a play specialist while in hospital please ask your nurse or doctor to make a referral to our service.


Where Will You See Us?
Kidz First Play Specialists support children, young people and their whaanau in:

  • Kidz First Medical Care
  • Kidz First Surgical Care
  • Kidz First Children’s Emergency Department
  • National Burns Centre (on referral only).

Kidz First Play Specialists work with children at bedside or in the activity rooms and when necessary in the treatment or procedural rooms.


Want To Find Out More?
For more information on play specialists and advice on supporting children and young people in hospital, please see the attached documents at the bottom of the page.

Referral Expectations

This is an inpatient service.  We do not routinely accept outside referrals.

If you have concerns and would like to talk to a play specialist before your child is admitted to hospital, please contact us.


Our service is free of charge for children admitted into Kidz First.

Document Downloads

Contact Details

100 Hospital Rd

Information about this location

View on Google Maps

Get directions

Street Address

100 Hospital Rd

Postal Address

Play Specialist Service
Kidz First Children's Hospital
Private Bag 93311
Auckland 1640

This page was last updated at 6:00AM on October 10, 2023. This information is reviewed and edited by Kidz First Play Specialists.