Arts, Play, Entertainment, Education and Recreation (APEER)

Who we are 

Through the Arts, Play, Entertainment, Education and Recreation (APEER) Committee, PCH and its non-government partners come together to provide a range of play and recreation services across the hospital for patients and their families. APEER includes: 

  • Universal play and recreation services at PCH
  • Fun on Four – the hospital’s main recreation space
  • The CAHS Arts Program
  • The School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health (SSEN:MMH)
  • Radio Lollipop Starlight Children’s Foundation The Humour Foundation (clown doctors)

These services and others offer a distraction to being in hospital and positively influence patients’ health and wellbeing by encouraging participation and interaction with other patients and staff, enhancing mental health, lowering levels of stress and encouraging individual self-expression and personal development. 

For more information about our non-government organisation partners, see the For patients and visitors page. 

Services we provide

Play and recreation services

Play is essential for children’s healthy social, emotional, physical and creative development and helps them learn how to engage and interact with the world around them. We know that being in hospital and being unwell or injured can be stressful, disruptive and isolating. Being able to play in hospital can help children be more at ease with unfamiliar surroundings and experiences and have fun, relax and socialise. We offer a variety of play and recreation services. Your child’s age, clinical condition and developmental needs will help us decide what sort of play suits their needs.

  • Universal play is for all children and is available at the bedside or in Fun on Four (Level 4), the Starlight Express and LiveWire rooms and Radio Lollipop. Children may access resources through the Toy Library, with support from PMH Volunteers and our non-government partners such as Clown Doctors, Captain Starlight and Animal Companions.
  • Targeted play is available for children who need specific activities or resources to achieve developmental or rehabilitation goals. A referral to the Occupational Therapy Play, Leisure and Engagement team (PLAE team) is required to access this service. 
  • Clinical play is available for children who may be showing signs of distress or having difficulty coping and require additional clinical support during their stay in hospital. Occupational Therapists or Clinical Psychologists deliver this service on a referral basis.

If your child is an inpatient at PCH and you would like more information about play and recreation support, please speak to one of the members your child’s health team.  

Fun on Four  

Managed by the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, Fun on Four is the hospital’s main recreation area. It offers a stimulating environment for children and families, with a range of activities and amenities for all ages and abilities, including: 

  • Specialist arts/craft and music areas
  • A dedicated toddler space and a tween lounge
  • Sensory room
  • Beanbag cinema
  • Outdoor play area
  • Book bunker.  

CAHS Arts Program 

The CAHS Arts Program provides a range of creative and interactive activities and initiatives to patients, including:

  • Therapeutic arts activities that provide a positive experience for patients and families in hospital  
  • Creative educational experiences with Artists in Residence working in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health (SSEN:MMH) 
  • The CAHS Artist in Residence Program, through which visual and performing artists deliver creative workshops (in a range of genres such as animation, printmaking, sculpture, collage, painting, photography, textiles, storytelling, singing, music and dance) to patients in bedside visits, classrooms, waiting areas and in group sessions in the hospital’s recreation areas.  
For more information about the CAHS Arts Program contact CAHS Curator, Belinda Cobby.     

School of Special Educational Needs

The School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health (SSEN:MMH) provides teaching and liaison services for patients whose medical or mental health prevents them from participating in their enrolled school programs and can help facilitate their entry or return to school. 

Home teaching may be provided for children who require between two to 10 weeks of convalescence at home before returning to school. Home teaching support can be requested with a medical certificate from your child’s doctor. 

SSEN:MMH supports all PCH inpatients and referred outpatients who are of compulsory school age, with a focus on children who are expected to be away from school for five days or more.   

Radio Lollipop

Radio Lollipop provides specially programmed radio shows to children in hospital via the Patient Entertainment System 24 hours a day. As well as visiting wards to provide entertainment and activities to patients, Radio Lollipop volunteers broadcast a nightly two-hour show live from their studio in Fun on Four. Children and their families may be invited into the studio during the broadcast to experience radio announcing or to take part in on-air competitions. Patients can also call the station to request songs during broadcasts.   

Starlight Children’s Foundation

Starlight Express Room

The Starlight Express Room is where Captain Starlight and a team of amazing volunteers create a world of fun with games, arts, crafts, singing and dancing. It's a bright, happy place that looks and feels nothing like hospital where kids and families can take a break from all things medical. 

There are board games, card games and all the latest video games. Kids and teens can sing, dance, watch a movie, have their face painted, enjoy arts and crafts and much more. You may even spot a famous face making a surprise visit!   

For children who can’t leave their hospital bed, Captain Starlight visits the hospital wards spreading fun and laughter. Starlight TV broadcasts all the fun of the Starlight Express Room live to their bedsides daily too so if you can’t come to the Starlight Express Room the fun can come to you.

Everyone is welcome to visit the Starlight Express Room. Whether you're in hospital for an appointment, a day, or for a longer stay, you can pop in, spend time together and enjoy all the fun and games. Brothers, sisters, whole families and hospital visitors are welcome.   

Livewire program

Starlight's Livewire program is for young people aged between 12 and 20 and runs seven days a week on wards and in the Starlight Express Room.    Livewire supports teenagers living with a serious illness, chronic health condition or disability by helping them connect with others who understand what they’re going though, feel independent, explore their creativity and develop new skills.    

Livewire runs a range of creative workshops in hospital including music, art, photography, film making, creative writing, multi-media and celebrity visits.      

All Livewire hospital workshops are run by trained Livewire facilitators and a team of volunteers. All teens are welcome to pop by.   

The Humour Foundation

Imagine being sick in hospital, in need of a friend to play, laugh and smile with – that’s the magic of Clown Doctors! Clown Doctors are highly trained, professional performers who spread fun and laughter throughout the hospital, working to uplift sick children and assist in the emotional healing and empowerment of patients and ease the stress of their families and hospital staff.   

By parodying the hospital routine with jokes, songs, magic and play, clown doctors engage children at their bedside – helping them to adapt to hospital life. Clown doctors work in partnership with medical professionals to divert children during painful procedures, calm and distract in emergency, encourage and assist during occupational therapy and physiotherapy, using humour to lighten the hospital environment and help parents, family members, hospital staff and most importantly – patients.