Tips for Playing with a Medically Complex Child

Play is a very big part of every child’s life. Games, toys, sports, and other interactive activities are ways that children explore, learn, socialize and grow their relationships and experiences. While medically complex children will have different experiences in their childhoods, play is still a vital part of their life. Parents of medically complex children may find it difficult to play with their kids, and it is okay to feel anxious about this. Like many things in a medically complex child’s life, play is much different experience than it is for other children. Complex children may experience childhood in a different way and it is important that you, as a parent, adjust your expectations for this. RSVP Home Care of Covington, Kentucky wants to help you with this adjustment by offering a few tips for playing with your complex child.


Do not set expectations for your complex child like you would with any other child. The best thing you can do when playing with your medically complex child is listen and watch for cues about what they enjoy doing. Your child may never want to, or may not be capable of playing with other children and you have to accept this and discover things that are good for them. Complex children experience things differently, and it is incredibly important that play time, whatever that may be, is a time that they enjoy. Whether they get to enjoy a specific toy, go on the swings, or explore areas they find interesting, let them have free time that they spend how they want.


As mentioned above, play time for a medically complex child should not be about additional opportunities for therapy. While some children may enjoy and choose toys to play with that therapists recommend, this may not be the case. Let your complex child choose things they enjoy. Do not make your child feel like play time requires work from them. This time should be for mental relaxation and enjoyment.

Play Zones

Some complex children will express interest in specific things like buses or trucks, or specific movements or sounds. If this is the case with your child, let play time be focused around these things. Take your complex child to areas they seem to enjoy during play time, like bus stops if they enjoy buses or areas where specific sounds are plentiful. Even though a complex child’s play time may not be what you are used to with a typical child, it is important that they find enjoyment during these hours of play, wherever or whatever that may be.

Yes, complex children experience childhood differently, but this does not mean that it is any less important for them to experience. At RSVP Home Care, Northern Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, we put our patients and their families first, and are always here to help with any questions or concerns. Our in-home nursing professionals have experience with a wide range of medical conditions and offer a variety of services for your medically complex child. If you have questions about play time with your child or are interested in any of our medical services, contact us today!