Pediatric patients connect to art, music therapy via Zoom during COVID-19 pandemic


During the COVID-19 pandemic, the UC Davis Creative Arts Therapy team takes their daily art and music therapy groups out of the playroom and into each patient’s room via Zoom software.

Art therapist Katie Lorain leads art group through Zoom.
Art therapist Katie Lorain leads art group through Zoom.

Each pediatric patient receives log-in information, so they can join in remotely each day.

Art therapist Katie Lorain passes out art materials to each patient with directions for the Activity of the Day (AOD). Music therapist Tori Steeley leads music activities, offering musical instruments for those who want to play and taking song requests. iPads are available for children who want to log into the activities.

“We do these group activities each day and it has been surprisingly successful,” Lorain said. Virtual attendees include children from other pediatric units in the hospital, as well as patients who otherwise would not be able to participate in playroom activities due to their condition.

Recent art activities included creating rainbows from Model Magic Clay, making sensory stained glass, watercolor painting and making clay pots. 

The team also shares their creative arts therapy projects with the public every Friday at 3 p.m. on the Children’s Hospital Facebook page. Last Friday, they created mandalas.

“Although these changes have been made due to the need for social distancing, it has brought about some creativity and positive change that will potentially continue moving forward,” said Diana Sundberg, manager of Child Life and Creative Arts Therapy Department.