Center for Children Programs & Activities

At the Center for Children, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, we strive to make your child's experience with us as pleasant and comfortable as possible. We know that a visit to the doctor’s office or the hospital can sometimes be stressful, so our certified child life specialists and pediatric social workers offer a variety of special programs and activities to help reduce anxiety for children and families.

Physical Therapist Michelle Yang and Patient

Physical therapist Michelle Yang works with a patient.

Family Support Services

We offer a series of caregiver support and educational workshops, many of which are focused on a specific condition, disorder, or patient population. These workshops also provide needed respite and family-to-family support. During these workshops, child life specialists are also available to coordinate activities for patients and siblings in an adjacent area. We also offer programs for the entire family.

If you are interested in attending or would like more information on any of the programs below, please email us at or call 212-598-6205.

Clubfoot Workshop

Our clubfoot workshop is a family support group that provides a chance for parents and other family members to get together and discuss and learn about their child's diagnosis. 

Cerebral Palsy Workshop

Our cerebral palsy workshop consists of a half-hour presentation followed by a half-hour supportive group discussion. Light refreshments are provided.  

Reach Out and Read

Our Reach Out and Read literacy program is aimed at promoting a love of reading for a child and his or her whole family. Parents can feel supported by their physician or other clinical staff member, working together to enhance the academic and cognitive success of the child through this early literacy initiative. 

Child Life Services

Our child life specialists use art, music, and therapeutic play to teach children about medical experiences and the recovery process. 

Assistance with Medical Procedures

Our child life therapists can help children better understand why they are hospitalized, and what they may expect during treatment. For example, we can explain what a cast is to a child who needs one, how it aids healing, and provide emotional support while the cast is being put on and removed. 

Our specialists also conduct tours for children and families coming in for preoperative testing. We can accompany children who are having blood drawn and use books, videos, and music to help prepare them for the procedure and distract them while it is happening.  

Art Therapy Activities

Art therapy activities are coordinated by our child life specialists on a regular basis and may be conducted on an individual basis, and in small or large groups. These coordinated activities use art materials to allow a child to express him or herself creatively and promote healing.

Bill the Musician

Every Wednesday at the Center for Children, Bill Gregeuz—also known as Bill the Musician—visits children and families to play music and encourage smiles. Music creates neurochemical and emotional responses that can be very beneficial to patients and families experiencing stress or pain. Many children gain noticeable positive physical and cognitive development as a result of music.  

Looney Louie

We believe that laughter and fun should be part of a doctor’s visit or hospital stay and that positive nonmedical interactions with kids help in the healing process. Looney Louie is a professional clown and magician who uses his clowning and magic skills to help reduce stress and offers a fun and entertaining distraction for children and their families. 

Only Make Believe

The Center for Children has partnered with Only Make Believe, a nonprofit organization that brings interactive theatrical performances to children in hospitals and other medical institutions free of charge. These performances happen regularly at the Center for Children to encourage imagination, and are accessible to children of all ages and levels of ability. 

Hero of the Month

The Hero of the Month program is sponsored by the Kids Wish Network, and recognizes children ages 3 to 18 who do not have life-threatening illnesses but continue to endure painfully difficult medical circumstances.

At the end of the month, a prize package arrives at the hospital for the child who has been chosen as the Hero of the Month. If possible, we encourage children to come with their families to the hospital to receive their award so that pictures can be taken and other prizes can be given.