Art Therapy, 2023

Healing Arts & Therapeutic Recreation

At St. Mary’s Healthcare System for Children, our goal is to help children be children. Every day, we work hard to hear our patients laugh and sing. It’s music to our ears—and to those of their loved ones. One way we do this is through therapeutic recreation and healing arts.

Arts for Healing Program

The healing arts program is an adaptive art program that is focused on the process of art creation. Through the use of multi-sensory texture and tactile exploration across various modalities, children concentrate on the process of creating art. There is no right or wrong way to explore and create, and the focus is on the experience and exploration of techniques, tools, and materials. Through this inviting and flexible modality, Saint Mary’s Kids experience a sense of accomplishment, success, and freedom of expression by playing, making a mess, and having fun!

Kids with medical complexities who are exposed to the arts are able to free their imaginations. In doing so, they develop skills and approaches to seeing the world in a new way. Our program includes works created by some of the area’s most exciting contemporary artists as well as the exploration of different theme-based projects allowing kids the opportunity to use different media. The Arts is a catalyst for children to express themselves while building skills and self-confidence.


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Develop Fine Motor Skills

Develop fine motor skills through grasping materials, finger painting, and adaptive equipment.

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Increase Cognitive Development

Increase cognitive development through pattern making, mixing colors, creating letters and shapes, texture play, and observation of cause and effect.

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Sensory Engagement

Sensory engagement through tactile, auditory, olfactory, and visual stimulation.
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Develop Communication and Social Skills

Develop communication and social skills through team exploration, sharing and showing artwork, and listening and responding to others.

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Promote a Sense of Achievement and Self-confidence

Mid-year St. Mary’s kid’s artwork is celebrated in our annual art expos to promote a sense of achievement and self-confidence.

Music is Key

Our leading-edge music therapy program is designed to help children express themselves, manage pain, and cope with stressful situations.  Music Therapy is a non-invasive, evidence-based approach implemented by a credentialed Music Therapist to promote healing, comfort, expression, and overall well-being. Music Therapy provides accessible, adaptive, and meaningful moments to people within a musical setting. The role of a Music Therapist is to explore relationships and create individualized experiences according to the needs of each patient. A few proven benefits of Music Therapy include but are not limited to emotional support, anxiety relief, mood improvement, bonding opportunities, progressive relaxation, multi-sensory stimulation, and a sense of community, all of which are essential to enhance a patient’s overall well-being at St. Mary’s.

Innovative Therapy-Portable Vecta Station

This portable multisensory cart uses lights, music and touch to provide multisensory stimulation to children at St. Mary’s. The new form of therapy serves as a distraction for difficult or painful procedures, and even helps children focus more on achieving their goals.

Contact Information

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children
29-01 216th Street
Bayside, NY 11360

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Programs & Services

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