There are a lot of awful things about staying in a hospital – the health issues themselves, the cost, the time, and others. One of the technically lesser but still highly irritating problems, however, is how infuriatingly boring it is to stay bound to a hospital bed all day – especially if you’re a child.
This is why the idea of Kevin Gatlin from Charlotte, North Carolina is so ingenious – he created a line of board game bedsheets to keep kids entertained and engaged while they’re in bed – at the hospital or at home.
Playtime Edventures, Kevin’s company, creates and sells a wide range of board games and educational bedsheets for kids. (1) The “Playtime Bed Sheets” as he calls them, have become very popular in several hospitals already because of how much fun they are for the kids that stay there. (2)
Kevin Gatlin says that he first got the idea a few years ago when he was visiting a friend’s kid in the hospital. “What if this was my son? How would we preoccupy the time?” he told NewsWest9. (3)
After that, he and his wife started brainstorming about what can be done to help kids have a more enjoyable stay in hospital beds.
“My wife used to utilize the bed with our son, they would play board games they would do homework assignments it was the biggest piece of furniture in the room,” Kevin added, explaining how he got the inspiration for his idea.
It took two years and a lot of meetings with teachers and other consultants on what exactly the sheets should include, but Kevin’s bedsheets were finally realized.
“We put together bedsheets and slumber bags that cover everything from Geography, Maths, Science, Grammar, word find games, over-sized game boards… all on a three-piece set,” Kevin explains.
“It’s an unfortunate situation that a child is in,” he says about the kids that have to stay for multiple days in hospitals.
“It’s great for the child life coordinator and the nurses and doctors — it gives them a tool that they can use before they just poke the kid.”
As of today, Kevin’s board game bedsheets have made their way to over 10 different hospitals as well as many homes. Some hospitals allow children to get the sheets with them after they leave the hospital if they’ve grown attached to them but parents can also buy the sheets directly from Kevin’s website.
“Individuals purchase our bedsheets online and they donate them to hospitals across the U.S.,” Gatlin says. “We’ve had our bedsheets purchased for hospitals internationally.”
To Kevin Gatlin, the philosophy behind the board game bedsheets is what matters the most. As he explains it: “To a child, the bed is the most important piece of furniture in their life. It’s not a place just for punishment or only to be used when they’re sick or when it’s time to go to sleep! We want our Playtime Bed Sheets to help create an environment where kids can continue to play, learn, sleep, and heal on their favorite piece of furniture!”
It’s a tough business, as Kevin admits, but to him, it’s all about the kids. “There’s a lot of ups and downs — but when you notice a child utilizing your product for what it’s meant for, that’s priceless.”