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Everyone Gets to Be a Kid in the New Gift Shop
by Trillium Hibbeln on 09/08/2010 at 2:53 PM

One of the cool things about working at a children's hospital is that adults sometimes get to act like kids.

I had a ball with my colleagues when we had a chance to preview some of the new toys and games that are being selected to stock the shelves of the Sallie Bender Guild Gift Shop in the lobby of the new Helen DeVos Children's Hospital.

The buyers who have been selecting the gift shop items have used great care and insight to find toys and other things to cheer up and entertain children in the hospital.

I saw so many items that I knew my kids would love that I wanted to start shopping right away.

Everybody immediately became a kid again, playing with the toys and I knew then that the gift shop will be a great destination for kids and families. I also noticed that the toy and game selection had something to offer for kids of all ages, and kids of differing abilities. There are toys that are cuddly, some that encourage creativity and others that will keep kids busy for hours. There were even low stimulation toys for kids with autism.

After the demonstration, I learned that all of the vendors donated the toys they displayed to be used by our child life program right away so I am sure they will be well received by our patients.

What really caught my eye was one of the great toys that kept us entertained when my daughter, Sofina, was hospitalized five years ago. Have you ever played with the toy called a Find It - Original? It was a hollow clear plastic tube filled with beads, and nearly 50 small items: a pearl, a popcorn kernel, a clip, and an elusive penny. We all played with the toy for hours, checking off the list the items that we found. But to this day, we still can't find the penny.

The Sallie Bender Guild Gift Shop will be located in the lobby of the new hospital.  It is a beautiful, large space that will surely fire up imaginations. Watch for details about opening events in December. The gift shop will be open then, so be sure to check it out.

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