I had been looking for a substantial and good quality whiteboard for use in my work as a Health Play Specialist and came across the A2 Folding Wedge Landscape.
Within my role I provide play for children in a hospital setting. I also spend time talking with children about their health, illness, conditions, clinical procedures, the working of their bodies and treatments or procedures they may undergo during their hospital stay. I use various resources for this, but I had previously been using large sheet of card for creative exploration work which were cumbersome, not ideal for purpose and given that they would just end up in the bin, was starting to feel costly and wasteful. Finding a resource that was robust, re-usable and portable was very important.
I have found the A2 Folding Wedge to be a brilliant resource – it has already had a good deal of use in the ways I had intended and more. I have been able to use it to explain physical conditions, injuries and treatments to children of all ages. The whiteboard allows shared drawing and creativity to happen very naturally – it was recently used to explain to a 6-year-old boy what had happened inside his arm when he suffered a broken bone. The child was able to draw the outline of an arm and hand using dry wipe pens. We then used play dough to create the bones of the arm and demonstrate what happened when those bones were injured. This creative approach to information sharing with children allows then to learn and process complicated information at a much deeper level than a verbal explanation alone. Being able to take the Folding Wedge Whiteboard to the child’s bed was also enormously helpful since he was restricted in his movement at that time.
Similarly, it was very useful to explore the effects of a perforated appendix with an older child. The board provided a substantial base upon which a body outline was drawn and again, play dough used to create the internal organs. The wipeable and sealed nature of the unit then allowed us to quite literally ‘burst’ a pretend infected appendix and talk about what the experience of the illness had been like for her. Once the session was over, the whole whiteboard could be wiped clean for use with the next patient.
I have stared taking the whiteboard to my weekly outpatient clinic. Here our waiting space is very limited, but the Folding Wedge whiteboard is compact and free-standing. It has been enjoyed by children of all ages who have used it here to doodle, to play drawing and word games while they wait, and for me to use in a similar way to the example given above – to explain procedures and conditions in creative ways as required. We have also started to encourage children to draw targets containing words or pictures associated with the things that challenge them most about their health issues. we can then ‘take aim’ with various objects (anything from a ball to wet tissue paper) and throw these at the target created on the board, this allows for a great release of frustration and can open conversations with children about difficult or complicated feelings.
This is a brilliant resource which is enhancing my practice as a Health Play Specialist and ultimately proving to be very useful in helping children and young people during their hospital journey. The Folding Wedge Whiteboard has proven to be a very valuable piece of equipment.